Charlie Malone

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

Spook Gultch

Scorpion Flat

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