Poetry Fiction Issue

Lottery

Hear the author read this poem

Pick a number,
any number,
and it will bear
the teeth marks of time.
The day confetti
stippled your shoulders
to keep love
bright and alive;
the year your newborn
son survived.
The two of us riding
the 33 bus
to the birthday bash
where a prophetic
blues band played
“You’ve Changed.”
The magnificent sum
of always, now, and still
dealt by the god
who pinched fate
into every living vein.

Presented by

John Skoyles is the author of three collections of poems and a recent memoir, Secret Frequencies. He teaches at Emerson College.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Photos of New York City, in Motion

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In