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As in drill rehearsal for an embattled place,
we call in mirrored breadths an inventory, mime

in duet a list, a ruck sack check, that makes you gaze
at your wrist, check watch, check pockets, jingle car keys

chin-high like copper chimes, or like the bells
that focus our attention in the Mass, a summoning

that at the altar an ordained event—body as host,
wine that was blood—is happening and is past.

We are older now; this is what this is. A pause midstride
before leaving one another, before leaving the house;

a wave from the drive the way angels—disquieted—
watch, then catch us by the hair. They hear our doubts.

Leaving, returning, for them: deliverance, reunion
with the stars, a coming home. For us, chance, a constant drum.


Copyright © 2022  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.

Published in Southern Poetry Review, Vol. 60, issue 1.

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