Michael Lauchlan


Two Women by Aristarkh Lentulov

Finally home, she said
little. What to say about
tagging and sorting clothes
she couldn’t afford to buy?
A hungry kid, I waited while
she lit another Tareyton
and her headache slid back
from her eyes toward the base
of her skull. What a name
for a cigarette. What a drink might
taste like after a day’s noise.
No more of that. She took
ground beef from the fridge
and began to brown it. Opened sauce
and started water for spaghetti.
I watched and did as she asked,
smoke in my eyes and throat.
Trash. The dog. Water
bubbled to life as she
retold a new joke, named
a number she almost hit.


About the writer:
Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Nimrod, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Southern Poetry Review, and Poetry Ireland. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave. from WSU Press (2015).

Image: Two Women by Aristarkh Lentulov (1882-1943). Oil on canvas. 43.5 x 34.4 inches. 1919. Public domain.