Embrace by Janie StapletonPoecology
Issue 5

Jérôme Luc Martin

              Leave-taking

                                                Grave, small, surefooted, where
the mountain path divides on rock, a herd of goats descending
split before me – soundless in the wind – though one was
haltered with a bell. And nightfall, quick on pink stones,
drove them down toward the covert or the pens. One stopping
in the juniper shook hard its little horns. Another stopped
and then, approaching, broke its damp, adept black muzzle,
took the salt out of my palm – love, brought me back
your quick and ragged tongue.
 
 

              Leave-taking

 
         of all my many months I am but one –
 
 
bright, early winter come again, and every apple
on the ground, and close friends murmur
parting in the road
 
 
great stations, sparrows under glass, and crated
southern palms . . .
                                    arrival, like a hand that
taps a held breath –
 
 
firewood damp and loose in sleeves of bark
 
 
the curving halves that leap apart beneath the axe
 
 
                                                              the slow,
diffracting stroke of something now far out to sea
         or still as that volcanic plume
the pages rearranging years in binding rust
 
 
Not yet are you within