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.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

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

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In