Michael Meyerhofer

On The Difficulty Of Loving The Theatrically Insane

A Tragic Atmosphere by Marianne von Werefkin

It’s not so bad if she’s clean and beautiful,
merely sniffling in the produce aisle
or standing topless in front of a big open window
with the steam from an oversized tea cup
kind of unwinding where the heart goes, all of her
taut yet simultaneously soft as a rain cloud.
But it takes something else to love the old man
with wide eyes and wet pants, shuffling
between bus stops. Same goes for the spinster
with no teeth, or the young man who calls
everyone brother unless they fail to drop
a few coins in his cup—which appears
to be just a regular Styrofoam coffee cup
covered all over with electrical tape,
like there’s an invisible current we should be
afraid of, like tape alone could be armor.


About the writer:
Michael Meyerhofer‘s fifth poetry book, Ragged Eden, was published by Glass Lyre Press. He has been the recipient of the James Wright Poetry Award, the Liam Rector First Book Award, the Brick Road Poetry Book Prize, and other honors. His work has appeared in many journals including Hayden’s Ferry, Rattle, Brevity, Tupelo Quarterly, and Ploughshares. He is also the author of a fantasy series and the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review.

Image: A Tragic Atmosphere by Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1838). No medium specified. No size specified. No completion date specified. Public domain.

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