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Morning in Three Movements


I lie in my own pasty pool

like a lamb in a druid’s bed.

Layer by layer, thread 

after thread, I shed 

and shed. O, press me

between your palms again!

Deliverer, be delivered.

Without your need, without 

a guise to beautify, 

what am I?


I know her layers far better 

than she. Scales that I peel 

in a rush of steam. My tongue, 

her arch, her bending knee.

The soft between her legs 

where I redeem myself, 

the way the Great Throwdini 

did, who earned his life, her love,

by sparing them. Without her

bristling flesh, oh what am I?


In this morning

light, I am almost 

transparent, a sheet 

of shimmering   

snow that holds

another person’s fears – 

once in this tight embrace,

twice in this lingering 

scent, this care, this

newfound air.

Answers to Riddles in Reverse:

I: paos fo rab

II : rozar

III. eussit


Copyright © 2023  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.

Published in The Banyan Review, Fall 2023. 

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