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A presence and this morning's shower
lingering like jewels between my thighs.

As if to flaunt my unpreparedness – towel
for a turban; my face, a pale and open sky –

I greet them at my door. Picture the scene,
they ask, a harlot sitting on the back

of a fearsome beast
. A terrible waking-dream
of a naked whore of false beliefs straddling

the back of a wild boar: metaphors for the Parousia.
Yet, standing on my porch, I wonder if they are attached,

newlyweds perhaps, who fell in love over scripture
or perhaps they present themselves like this: a final act

to test my interest in the text, or in the man. Sun-bleached
hair, finger-combed, his face unexpectedly tanned,

the curl of his lip. I tell them to come back – a slip,
or another faith talking?  I say this squarely looking

at him. As for ancient debts, healing, forgiving: I am going –
have already gone – toward the living.


Copyright © 2015  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Published in Tar River Poetry , Spring 2016.

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