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Michael Lauchlan


Hospital Cafeteria

Opposite me, young nurses chat, holding wheat toast in delicate hands. One just shaved an old man and claims she made him laugh. Even as you read this he is gone and maybe the nurses and I, as well, because you, dear one, are the slowest corres [...]


At the deserted assembly plant, on the siding that once led to dealerships in Chicago, they wait in boxcars painted for Barnum and Bailey. By the electric fence, long unplugged, we shift tired kids, wondering, on the last warm night of a murder [...]

What You Hadn’t

One pain forgives another; mashed thumb obliterates headache. Malaria returned, dragged your liver with all your other failures         from that ugly flat where you burned so many pots of stew and chased your daughter's beaus away. "If [...]

Water Heater, 18Th St

In a half cellar, dim, with a dirt floor wet from sewage and a bad water heater, one smell, sharper than the rest, wrinkles the nose of the plumber. Teeth grind, the scalp tingles, he waves a pipe wrench at the frozen rat and steps boldly again. Pipe [...]