“Aftermath” by Nathan Landau

Nathan Landau


Some days I am a machine gun
of apologies and gratitude,

an automatic weapon of regret
and sincerity and when the smoke

clears in the firing range
of our kitchen, your ears

ringing with vows
that it will never happen

again, I am the sound
of a hammer chattering

against the hollow
chamber of my promise.

I am every calibered casing
marked I’m sorry, forgive me,

I didn’t mean it.
Every brass thimble

of thank you and thank you
and thank you, scattered

on the tile floor where we hold
each other, swear nothing

has changed, and kiss
cartridges into the empty

magazines of our mouths.

from Rattle #43, Spring 2014
Tribute to Love Poems

[download audio]


Nathan Landau: “There’s this interview with Ira Glass that’s been going around the last couple years, and the gem of it is this monologue about taste. Essentially, your taste is what makes you love what you read, hate what you used to write, and endlessly work to lessen the disparity between the two. I love that—not just that taste drives creative output, but that you could also become someone else’s good taste.” (website)

Rattle Logo