This air is the air of an oven,
it is so deathly hot.
For days the sun has been crisping the microbes.
A boy has disappeared from the village.
2AM and the foothills of the Pyrénées
lit with light flashes between the dark spaces of trees,
foliage on foliage.
Sparks of light glitter the mountain sides.
Up here- mountains before us, village below us-
it’s like an ant farm, lines of lights
following the twists and turns between
row after row of houses
scaling slowly into the mountains
for the third consecutive night.
The day it happened,
we’d walked into the foothills,
Afterward, we thought we saw a boy
about his age break off from a group.
But then the night descended into drunken poker
and skinny-dipping in the pool.
A shade of white roses hung their brittle,
curled heads from the trellis
and grapes rotted on the vine.
Their scent sweetened the air.
We finished the wine, smoked our cigarettes
and thought nothing of it.
In the local bar, someone told us
his mother broke down crying in the boulangerie.
They had found his sandals under a canopy of trees.
Four days and nights
they lay neatly by the roots, a last offering-
after that, nothing.
Just a stream trickling down a mountain,
the sun scattering itself through a shade of leaves.
(c) Copyright 2016 Lorcán Black
Lorcán Black is a poet from the Republic of Ireland, now living in London. His poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Blue Lyra Review, Chiron Review, Arsenic Lobster, Off the Coast, Assaracus, The Opiate, The Flexible Persona & Devilfish Review, among various others. He is Editor in Chief at Anomaly Literary Journal.