Is currently earning his MFA at
Southern Illinois University after a three-year stint in the "real world" where he floated between data entry jobs, perfected a typing speed of over one hundred words per minute, and briefly held a job collecting urine samples at a rehab center. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Free Lunch, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, Snow
Monkey, Modern Haiku, American Tanka, Rearview Quarterly, Verse Libre, Sometimes City, Steel Point Quarterly, Ariga, 2River View, bottle rockets, Snapshots, Famous Reporter, and others.


Coming home from the bar
she tells me to take my socks off
so she can wash my club feet
in the bath tub, tired as they are
from all the dancing
I’m not supposed to do.

Afterwards, she rubs lotion on them
and the tickling makes me giggle
as I haven’t done in years.
I don’t thank her. She dries off
my feet then leads me into
the bedroom. I sit on the edge

of her quilt, watching her draw the pins
from her hair, leaving it stand
straight out like something
off the Munsters, and when I laugh
she knows it means I love her.
She’s waiting for me

to turn the lights off. Her bare
ankle slides under my arm
almost onto the page, in her thinnest
soft nightshirt she’s waiting, and I’m willing
to give this poem a bad ending
if it means I can join her sooner.


Between Sex and Death

Somewhere between my grandfather
talking about suicide again
and the cockeyed white hairs
sprouting from my eyebrows,
I have found my fear of death.

And it should come as no surprise
that I wanted to make love
as daylight returns salt to the ocean,
to shove and come and then sleep
as though nothing were the matter.

You might easily call this escape
but from an evolutionary standpoint,
haven’t the ones who lived
always had an inexplicable yearning
driving them towards sex and rest?

To propagate the species, yes,
but the hope I cling to
is that death—that great surrender—
is at least a cousin of sleep
and what I feel inside you:

that eros, agape, even logos are
spilling into some great ocean
but suddenly it makes perfect sense
to lay our nameless remainders
one beside the other, to rest

like ants within their city
or angels after some great battle,
everything silenced, so still
we could stop breathing
and it wouldn’t matter.

Morning Suckle

She rises full of milk
like the moon
under its gown of
blue clouds and
into the waxing crescent
she fits herself.
She smiles—just a little tired—
as yard of her soul
are pumped out, then
returns to her bed
and the warmth she left:
a husband watching how
easily she gives herself away,
how purely she loses
and gains at the same time,
going deeper than he ever will
into the quiet truth of
living, and in these
moments he tries
his best not to hate her.


We meet God like a child
who has never been weaned.
In our veins
the rushing blue milk
from which stars draw their lights,
pulsing like all the poems
never spoken but now,
the romance of darkness
has passed. For we have known
the warmth of others, and died
as only the gods may do—
mad to be born,
mad to go back.


Copyright © 2004 Michael Meyerhofer