Embrace by Janie StapletonPoecology
Issue 5

Jérôme Luc Martin

              The Gardening Fires

How soon the gathered branches lose their sweat and resin
in the cloud, and fill with distance . . . Plumes of smoke
lift out of clearings, over shining greenhouse roofs:
above the alps, above the valleys, over that
white littered ground beneath the almond tree – the tree
that calls to mind the scent of those unmanageable
honeyed almonds burnt into a pan – all gather into
stillness, breathless, mingled clouds and smoke. And days
combine, a cloud of days.

                                                  Though I have been
attentive to the weather, to the strict wind, April’s changing
seasons, any sign – among the stands of pines and stately
residential oaks – it’s been so long, your living shade, when
it appears again among the burning leaves,
it even speaks unlike you.

              The Gardening Fires

it’s been so long that, as you are, and I
                                                  my long attention
fades the written ink; the days of weather clean
my page.
in cover of
the mountain pines
                                           you wouldn’t find me –
         where the quickly flaking coals revive,
a scent of resin wakes the taste of sweat:
that body, bridled smoke,
         a year’s one day of snow along the coast
that powders off the branch – the way salt-water
salt would powder from your skin