Issue > Poetry
Michael Montlack

Michael Montlack

Michael Montlack is the editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press) and author of two poetry books: Cool Limbo (NYQ Books) and the forthcoming Daddy. Recently his poems have appeared in Cincinnati Review, Poet Lore, North American Review, The Offing, Hotel Amerika, and Los Angeles Review. His essays have appeared in Huffington Post and Advocate.com.

Ghent Farm House (c. 1790)

The low ceilings knock us—
the way junior high boys tease
a girl who towers over them.

Flirtation? Or punishment?

For stuffing overstuffed furniture
into these dainty rooms. Blocking
window-framed views of the hills
with large-screen televisions.

The birds have learned to sing
louder over the years. I'm certain,
when a nail jutting from the original
hardwood floor snags my sock:
these longer life spans seem
to rush by faster and faster.

Isn't that what the goat is explaining
when she stares me in the eye? A smile
so gentle, wise. Like she's been here
before—or always—and it's her job
to welcome or warn me.

The gnats spin in a circle, making
a clock in the air above the pond.
The rain smells new and I know
it's a kind lie, like the goat's smile.
Gentle, like the tilt of the barn
as it settles imperceptibly. The egg
in my palm as warm as the mud
on my boot. I try not to trudge
across the field like a clumsy giant,
oblivious to the crushing violets.

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