The 2River View 22.4 (Summer 2018)

Michael Lauchlan


She told me how they’d laugh,
looking back at us
shopping for cars or hats

as neighbors are piled into vans
and hustled out of sight.
When I asked if we might

remain invisible, she took
a thoughtful drag and smiled
unbrightly, a whiff of smoke

seeping from her gown. Reasons
will drain from us, she said,
like blood from a headless bird.

Yeats Calls

poetry a quarrel with the self.
When I argue with my lover,

I see an eyebrow rise and long
to take her side against my own.

She holds in turn worlds within.
How can I ignore children

trying to board a train, those
her eyes find first as they cling

to a mother’s coat? I can’t miss
her rage at men who disinherit
the meek. How can I ignore

that woman sitting there—
what breaks a stanza’s heart?
what lights an iamb’s fuse?

Michael Lauchlan has poems in many publications including Barnstorm, The Cortland Review, The Dark Horse, Harpur Palate, Louisville Review, New England Review, The North American Review, Poetry Ireland, Southword, Sugar House Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press.

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