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Poetry by Michael Barach

Michael Barach

After having grown up in Philadelphia, PA, Michael Barach worked as a writer and editor for Moment Magazine and for RoyalShave, a company that sells exclusive straight razors and shaving products. Currently Michael writes and teaches poetry in Tallahassee, FL. His recent projects include a book of collaborative poems and artwork.

My Cannon

by Michael Barach

Now the sky is pulpy with ash, and with gentle encouragements
we’ve lifted each other against the lead blanket of post coital
ruminations and showered, long in the shower, meadow-like

in its misty gloam.  The time she spends straightening her hair
is time I get to watch her through the doorway.
We’ve led each other all around this place; by now

there’s no reaching for her without her in my lap,
or I’m snuck up behind her, hung on her like a dumb cape.
Patience she must have learned from Buddhist monks

she visited in college, outside Lansing, when she felt God
as a twanged bow string about to snap inside her,
keeping her up at night.  Their moccasins

swish in the trees. Or maybe in the gorilla lap
of my favorite chair, where I’ve nodded off already.
At the party we’re late to, our coworkers tap

box wine, line ranks of cheese cubes
on paper plates no bigger around than CDs.
Fingernails skate across backs and biceps

like shadows flapping on frozen lakes.  With more wine
there will be dancing, the porch lights will blaze
witch-eyed into the backyard stubble.

I don’t think I can do it tonight.  She might offer
her best mind to be foraged in that scrum,
and I’ll be sunk right here under the lamp,

writing a note that begins

Dear Purse-and-Underpants, Mirror Crier,
Butterflier, Owl Eyes, Thumb-Smudged Cheek,
Farm Angel, Salted Finger, Waydown, Water Critter,
Easy Baby, I-Thou, Lost Sitting Down,
Whiskey Slinger, Buzzer Beater,
Sweet Apocalypse, Fuzzywonder,
You Powerful, Cactus-Aflame-in-Blackest
January, Spell Flinger, Nonsequitur
One Who Makes Words Live,
One Who Makes Words Live,
One Who Makes Words Live,
My Hornet, My Folded Tabernacle, My Cannon,

The Patriarch

by Michael Barach

No one listens to him anymore,
if anyone ever did. He is a body
flopping in the front seat of the car,
a cross-armed guard protecting his family
from little sparrows blown about the yard.
Where is he to go when his wife’s sisters
are drunk and phoning men they’ve left on the altar?
Channel changer, memorizer of newspapers,
O he’ll crush your hand shaking it.
Sunday is cold. He scrambles eggs in a pan.
There are still fusses to be made over him.
When his wife snores into the sagging mansion
of his face and kisses it in her sleep, it’s his weight
that keeps the bed from flying into space.