After Eugenio Montale

The ancients say poems
are a ladder to God.
Reading mine,
you may harbour a few
But oh my darling,
I knew it was so that day
you gave my voice back to me,
when goats broke loose from somewhere
to slaver on thorn or marram
while clouds lost their bearings
and sun and moon exchanged
unearthly looks with each other,
and our car conked out,
and only an arrow, a scrawl on a stone,
blood red, as if written in blood,
pointed us on our way
by road to Aleppo.

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