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2012 Erskine J. Poetry Prize - Finalist


A portly man on TV says he’s eating jelly donuts
since his doctor recommended more fruit.  My head
tucked beneath your chin, I feel you grin. A welcome joke –
what Aristotle called a cleansing: the comedy channel in bed.

A piecemeal purging meant to clear our minds, a chance
to graft, like patchwork, the wreckage of our lives
onto a campy figure, cheer for him; love him for dancing
when the gods single him out, pile on their twisted trials.

As if – for a few moments – we are watching someone else’s
life unfold. Pizza and beer, you my armchair, tucked in our sheets.
As if – for a few moments – we have climbed up from some well
to lounge on sun-baked stone, take in the Dionysian Mysteries:

lore of the vine – seasons, grapes, wine. Nothing ever truly dying.
And us, tender initiates, laughing so hard we’re crying.


Copyright © 2011 M. B. McLatchey.  All rights reserved.
Finalist for the 11th Annual Erskine J. Poetry Prize.
Published in the 2012 Spring issue of Smartish Pace.

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