Mark McCloughan
Nonfiction

In that place he was

like a god, meaning higher

 

than everything. Almost always

on a ladder he stood

 

quickly leafing through

books in search of something.

 

I used the rustling to locate 

him, my tray weighed down

 

with milk in a silver ewer,

a bowl for washing the eager

 

ink from the pads

of his fingers. I looked up

 

at him the way one might

a god, meaning reverently,

 

and with no small hope

of punishment, no matter how

 

unspoken. He looked up

from his reading, down

 

at me, and gave a nod

which meant permission

 

to return to our large desk 

at the center of the library

 

and overfill myself

 

with the milk, which was 

warm, which was kindness.

 

 
Found In Volume 44, No. 02
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Mark McCloughan
About the Author

Mark McCloughan is a performer and writer based in Philadelphia. His poems have appeared in Ostranenie  and Lines + Stars. Recently, he authored No Harbor (L + S Press, 2014), a chapbook of poems.