Into the foothills:

individuated and

intentional, like tumuli,

poised in geometric solitude;

yet reiterant—

battologizing in every direction

like a lavish obsession;

 

Over the clatter of lava scree,

down stress-cracked arroyos

polyped with balsamroot,

astride dustracks canine and human,

over roots of gnarled fir that

knuckle the trail like black fingers.

 

Into the foothills, then,

you run—

without optimism,

suspecting all summits false,

enduring your own shadowy weather—

unending systems of shifting mentalese;

 

Overtaking strangers wordless

and passing through strands of huddled pine

sunk with errant shafts of yellow light,

networks of crows bruiting your

course in the canopies above.

 

With ragged breath and aching limb,

you are lifted and lowered,

left to pursue protracted arcs,

like the practitioner of an esoteric ritual,

like the epigone of a mathematical formula.

 

Compacted and sunbaked into pavement

the path rattles talus and tibia,

climbs the fickle architecture of your spine,

and delivers spoonfuls of annihilation.

 

Into the foothills, then,

you are running—

not speaking,

but hanging on

the susurrus of the breeze,

listening intently,

trying to hear the urgent call of the world.

 

James F. Latin

Jimmy Latin is in his fourth year of Honours English at Concordia University (Montreal). He writes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.

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