Facing the entrance, Caverne Des Trois,
deepening the stakes, he drops his backpack,
water bottle, tattered cave map on the granite
outcrop, removes his Gor-Tex pants, fleece
jacket, stripping to an airy Pentecostal choir,
eager hairs jutting from plump goose bumps,
he stares from the flat of the narrow ledge.
Stripped of doubt, slipping into silent
shadows, he coils around the damp blackness
with the accumulating certainty of a fetus
exploring the inside of the womb, last qualms
surrendered to hands poking the soft dark.
Je suis ici. Je suis retourne.
Deeper still, the cave is taking back what it
remembers, drawing him to the sides so that
his fingers can trace the raised ridge lines of bat
guano and ochre stick men reaching out, urging
him, nearly falling, he presses his naked palm
onto theirs. I am here. Remember me.
Si’l vous plait me laisser partir.