John Martone


Good Thief

You’re going to die in medias res
everyone does: the next project
open on your table:
garlic bulb and fountain pen,
that riddle. Three empty chairs
and yours emptier still.
And the room floats off: a crystal,
salt over the shoulder, like
a cross, and you’ve gotten away,
good thief, with your whole world
when no one was looking.

JOHN MARTONE’s volume of translations, Giovanni Pascoli: O Little One and Selected Poems has just appeared from Laertes Books. His own collections of poems include Homelands and So Long. Much of his works can be found online at