Michael Angel Martin
“It was said of Abba Agatho that for three years he carried a stone in his mouth until he learned to be silent.”
—Thomas Merton, Wisdom of the Desert
Salivating, Abba Agatho sops
the bread up in salt and oil, and tongues
the stone of his salvation, polished down
to a smooth and sand-colored orb,
behind his molar. This meal is a gift
from a novice dwelling in a cave
a horizon away, who dropped it off
at the cell door like a basketed infant.
The pupil knew better than to knock,
so as not to put the Abba to shame,
that he not spit out the stone to utter
refusal or gratitude, and break his echo
of God, his rockhard silence.
Michael Angel Martin is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at at Florida International University. He has poems in Jai-Alai Magazine and forthcoming in Green Mountains Review. He also works for O, Miami, an organization that fosters literary life in Miami, Fl.