The Breakfast Piece

Web of unturned matter
smoldering in the yard.
A flame in the compost

or a molten tongue
that starts the dog barking.
Abortus tranquillus.

Every day now:
a before or an after.
Or, an endless encore.

Born in a long hall
under a burnishing moon.
Go to your room. Go to your

room and stay there.
Look at your tongue: tiger
stripes up and down –

Bearer of sorrow, curl up
your muddy  locks
and worm away.

I’m not the one
to teach you
how to walk.

I have been
mopping up after you
all these days.


 II.

Milk crusting
in a cereal bowl.
Figs like little death’s-

heads left, predictably,
untouched. A paper cup
berthed in its own spilt pool.

A still life
of the widespread type –
The Breakfast Piece –

that, in their rush
to school, the boys
lightly abandoned.  

Remnants of a meal
or of a life? In all of our
formal studies, always

the latter. Pieces unexpectedly
arranged and surfacing
like orphans wanting care.

We move as if across
an oily canvas
to wash them, wash them.




.

Copyright © 2015  M. B. McLatchey.  All rights reserved.
Published in The Drunken Boat, Fall 2015.

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