for Larry Pike


you’d say into the phone. This,
back when bells made us
cross rooms to hear a voice

at the end of a wire. Just
Listen—then a poem
you’d pulled from a typewriter

heavy as a bench vise. Keys
flew under your fingers, made
levers dent paper. Weeks

after your funeral, I dialed
the first digits of your number,
then cradled the phone, stunned.

You layered your lines as though
setting them in stone. Here,
in the burn-scar twenties of our

arid age, I want your voice
scouring the air, rasping again
into bookstores and coffee shops.

I want your face, suffused
with earth’s own light
as you point one insistent

finger toward the sky and call
on God for a comic burst
of mercy, that sweet rain.



Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Tar River Poetry, Rappahannock Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Ninth Letter, Harpur Palate, Southern Poetry Review, Bellingham Review, Lake Effect, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave. from WSU Press. (2015), and his next collection is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry.

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