top of page


I got rid of my landline when my mother died.    for Gina

Line in a fertile, buzzing ground; twine
like the curled, life-giving cord

whose length in a chamber of
membranes and underwater sounds

once matched mine from rump to crown.
Deliverer of sustenance; mythic shield maker;  

fashioner of a perfect air; perfect
cosmos, perfect sphere. And from me to her:

wastes to be purged, calls for defenses
from a viscous, Delphian orb of still-blooming

limbs and senses. It is dots and dashes now.
A relapse or a renewal of where we started:

your profile in a passing car; a cashier who
recaptures your knowing glance; the chance

sound, in a crowd, of a woman’s laugh – then your
signature sighing. Presences like parting joys.

Cues that the dirge is the wedding song – as perhaps
we’d known all along: the sudden breeze that catches

us off guard; the dog’s inexplicable bark; the smell
of rain drying; stars at their brightest before expiring.


Copyright © 2019 M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Published in  The National Poetry Review,  Fall 2020

bottom of page