in praise of sedimentary rock
for Patricia Farrell
Six decades is but a blink in the Zechstein Sea,
with its marine transgressions and its Lopingian epochs
and its thin layer of shale or slate.
I would recommend the apricots that they make
from oxidised sulfur, which was how they spelt “sulphur”
in 1956, because it is yellow.
I would also recommend their selection of waffles
which are labelled Z1 to Z5, respectively like
in 1956, when Japan became a member of the United Nations.
But do not touch the dolomites, however widely dispersed,
because during the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
when Norma Jean Mortenson legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe
and Yul Brynner was ascended by an Austrian
and Jerry Lee Lewis became Britain’s first female judge
they dropped them in the canal with Michel Houellebecq
who is a nihilist and cannot be trusted
to jump out of a birthday cake
in 1956, without putting out all the candles.