Charlie Malone grew up in rural Northeastern Ohio, headed west to the mountains, came back to the Great Lakes, and has loved all of it. He edited the collection “A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park” with Wolverine Farm Publishing and has work recently published or forthcoming in The Sugar House Review, The Dunes Review, Saltfront, and Matter: Nomad. Charlie now works at the Wick Poetry Center in Kent, OH.
Going to Church like Larkin
It is late night, Christmas Eve,
and your mother is dying.
So, you go to church like Philip Larkin
stirring an index finger through a bowl of coins
taking only the Canadian ones with you.
There are so many cars in the parking lot.
You climb into the backseat of your own
and lay down thinking
about all the places you wish
you had taken her.
As wet slush slaps the roof—
Utah, where rugged canyons carry
divine or deadly names
Little Death Hollow
and the trail down from Egypt
is the holiest place you’ve ever been.
And you apologize to the dome light
for the imperfection
of your descriptions
as you floated penniless around the world
at the age when you are supposed to float
penniless around the world.
You don’t go in
even though you know
there is something going on inside.
And you don’t go home
as the white mass
begins to bury the windshield.
© 2018 Charlie Malone