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World News Tonight

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An inch of snow fell yesterday,
illumined the branches of trees,
erased curbstones, and covered the trash

that blows through the park. Tonight
has lost its edges and joined
a thousand years of nights. A scent

composed of leather and sweat
rises when I shoulder a door,

wanting in, or maybe wanting out
of rain and wind, out of a vacancy
I’ve learned to inhabit. Voices leak

down the hall from a half-lit kitchen
where someone is frying onions. Maybe
also a bit of beef and something sweet.

I slip out of wet shoes and enter
a dream past which is not

only mine. The tale’s more
than one family’s wars, trials,
and steerage berths. This frozen night

joins with other nights, the haunts
of a billion ragged dreamers,
selves adrift in a moving world.

Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, and Lake Effect. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press.