Oct/Nov 2006 Poetry

Bathos I

by Laurie Soslow

Photo by Jim Gourley

Bathos I

Christ arched his back in every corner,
while mezuzot stood erect in mine.

On a quiet Ardmore street, in the stone house,
we lay in the wood-paneled den

on a sea of brown shag,
old and spare and staggered as the latch hook pillow

I'd painstakingly puncture
with my latcher tool and lot

of pre-cut yarn. Until a picture emerged
in the center: the webbed feet of a duck,

a snowman, an owl. Any animal charged
out of slaving. Then my face

against whatever it was, feeling equal
parts of rough shaft and softness in total,

like the rug of my family's den
before it matted

and my fingers dug in searching
for the plastic template, the beginning of time.


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