fall 2018 / Poetry 2018 / volume 49

Impulses—Jeffrey H. MacLachlan

Jagged grapevines shake
and twist for an audience of lake
crests while the best man repeats
a joke with every sweaty handshake:
Interested in some rings?
Groomsmen search dinner jackets
for flasks of scotch, grumbling
about prayers for sunshine answered
with unmerciful heat. The best man
realizes the terrifying prospect
of skipping both rings toward the far shore
and raiding the cellarette–
letting fermented tides submerge
his footprint-trashed sandcastle.
There he paces in an oubliette
until skeleton-colored water
rattles out of rat nests.

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