This poem came from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by the_vulture. It belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, an archive of material about the imaginary fandom of an apocryphal television show which features quantum physics and interdimensional hijinks.
Before things get serious enough
for pink and white handprints on a wall
or silver rings on each other's fingers,
there is another custom.
It is quieter, not given
to a single day of dramatic celebration,
so it takes Ash and Alex
a while to stumble across this one.
Ash is the one
who first spots a display,
her eyes accustomed
to seeing the small details.
Amethyst for wise advice.
Carnelian for focused attention.
Hematite for steadfast calm.
Jade for good fortune.
Lapis lazuli for intuition.
Moonstone for acceptance.
Rose quartz for harmony.
Turquoise for truth.
Alex is the one
who figures out the meaning,
her quick wits flicking through
the possibilities to the purpose.
"These are friendship tokens,"
she murmurs, a long finger stirring
the heart-shaped stones.
"They say what your friend is to you."
Ash does not hesitate
to pick out a white moonstone for Alex.
Alex takes her time
choosing a turquoise for Ash.
When they leave the Alpha Vector
and return to their own home,
they carry those two carved stones:
souvenirs, symbols, statements.
Among the stones in the bowl
of the little bubbling fountain
in the common room,
they leave their hearts side-by-side.