The Latch

We nurse our secrets
and their suckle hurts.

Since birth the two top teeth
are white and keen

as science in fluorescent
light. Our shirts

are wrenched; the shamed
breasts tend mastitic, mean

all night and febrile
when those pink lips purse

at two am
to drop that guillotine

of appetite. Of course
what’s most perverse

is that it would burn more
to tell, to wean

the creatures off
our silence—milky blue

and warm, a carnal
dribble at their chins.

Each leaks a cry
so innocent and thin

that only we, attached,
can taste the ooh.

Behind the latch, as sharp
and sweet as sin,

the hard mouth needs us,
and it feeds us too.

George David Clark

George David Clark

George David Clark is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Washington & Jefferson College. His Reveille (Arkansas, 2015) won the Miller Williams Prize and his recent poems can be found in AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Image, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. The editor of 32 Poems, he lives in Washington, Pennsylvania.
George David Clark

Latest posts by George David Clark (see all)

Author: George David Clark

George David Clark is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Washington & Jefferson College. His Reveille (Arkansas, 2015) won the Miller Williams Prize and his recent poems can be found in AGNI, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, Image, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. The editor of 32 Poems, he lives in Washington, Pennsylvania.