Fall 2023, Volume 35

Poetry by Michael Meyerhofer

Dear Father

Long before I knew 
my own name, 
you carried me out
to the car, 
up many stairs 
and right on through 
the glass mouths 
of hospitals,
and because I
would not remember
how easily you 
overcame the whole 
world's gravity
for me, for an instant,
I was God. I was
God, and you
were carrying me.

All Afternoon

The cat asks to be pet
along its smooth dark side

but I’d prefer to read
so after every paragraph,

I give the cat a few scratches
between his impish ears

then go back to reading. 
The cat wants more, nuzzles 

my wrist and eventually 
starts head-butting me,

his tiny skull determined
to solicit all it can. The book 

doesn't approve. Look,
it says, I'm trying here but

every time you wander,
I have to rebuild the world.

I know how you feel, says
the sun spilling through

the windows. You see how
I have to bend around

this furniture? Once,
all of this was wide open.




BIO: Michael Meyerhofer's fifth poetry book, Ragged Eden, was published by Glass Lyre Press. He has been the recipient of the James Wright Poetry Award, the Liam Rector First Book Award, the Brick Road Poetry Book Prize, and other honors. His work has appeared in Southern Review, Ploughshares, Rattle, Hayden's Ferry, Gargoyle Magazine, River Styx, Missouri Review, and other journals. He is also the author of a fantasy series and the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review. For more information and an embarrassing childhood photo, visit www.troublewithhammers.com.