Michael Montlack

At 23

               I imagined love was a Minotaur.
I sharpened my sword and barged into his maze,
ready to razz him. Just for laughs.

Instead I got lost. Always two minutes
to somewhere. Mapless, flabbergasted.

When he eventually found me, I was 51,
coiled up and cold, listening for a wind chime
to indicate the way out. I gave him a spiel
about a snafu, how I had found the lock broken.
That I’d have to be an idiot to pick a fight.

He just sighed, like I was a fuddy-duddy
at closing time. Last call, brother.

At 23 love was inevitable as the sun
on a windowsill. Days disposable.
Nights thinly disguised afterlives.

Michael Montlack is author of two poetry collections, most recently DADDY (NYQ Books 2020), and editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press). Recently his poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, The Offing, The Cincinnati Review, Poet Lore, and Florida Review. In 2020, two of his poems were nominated for Pushcart Prizes and one was a finalist for Best of the Net. He lives in New York City.

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Fall 2021