Poetry April 2010

The Latch

After scraping eighty-three-year-old paint from four screw heads
holding the latch in place on the studio door,
and, having steadied the door on one out-thrust hip and running
the pointed tip of a kitchen knife around the lock-box to break the seal
of paint, your neighbor patiently removed each screw with the right-size,
old-fashioned screwdriver he had brought and jiggled the lock free
so he could pry open its metal back and fish out the broken spring,
the small, dark, steel coil and its detached tongue,
which could be replaced, he thought, by an antiquarian locksmith
on the other side of town in la rue du Courreau—
though the latch will be too late to keep in or out
the man who abandoned this house, and the good and ill spirits he courted here.

Presented by

Rosanna Warren’s recent books include Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry (2008) and Departure: Poems (2003). She teaches at Boston University.

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Dravet Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that affects children. Could marijuana oils alleviate their seizures?

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

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In