Being born weds us to death. Still we invest in life.
Inclined to fight our way to the crush. Our grubby palms
outstretched like Oliver for more to fill our bowl.
Elvis has to be combing his thinning pompadour somewhere.
Our forefathers knew they couldn’t think of everything
yet agonized over fine lines before jotting them down.
Certain literacy would still be a thing. Democracy too.
California hillsides are burning hotter than any hell
Nostradamus could’ve conjured. And still we believe
in blankets of rain. As if nature is intentionally generous.
Our faith resides between camp and cliché, a signature prop,
smoke swirling from a cigar in the pudgy fingers of W.C. Fields.
Michael Montlack is author of two poetry collections, most recently Daddy (NYQ Books), and editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press). His poems recently appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, december, The Offing, Cincinnati Review, and Poet Lore. His prose has appeared in Huffington Post and Advocate.com. He lives in NYC.