Rick Marlatt


Old Nebraska men have grown used                                                                                       

to being the cartographic dot                                                                                        

between Omaha and Denver,                                                                                                    


feeling out the weight of 1,776 miles                                                                                        

to Boston and San Francisco                                                                                                      

on each arm like an eagle                                                                                                


casting off from a cottonwood top,                                                                                          

grown used to being a landmark                                                                                              

the world just flies over,


allowing women to pick up the slack                                                                                       

when they find it difficult to talk                                                                                                          

about themselves or others,


everyone assuming their children                                                                                             

are dreadfully unhappy praying                                                                                                           

in rickety, stale pews,                                                                                           


grown used to keeping it steady on                                                                                          

the sidewalk, one foot in a past                                                                                                 

they remember incorrectly,


one foot in a future their aspirations                                                                                       

will never quite fulfill, their bright

eyes filling with snow.



Rick Marlatt teaches English in Nebraska. He has BAs in English and Philosophy and a MA in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska, and he is currently pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside at Palm Desert. Marlatt’s most recent publications include The Pedestal Magazine, Gently Read Literature, and Cold Front Mag. Marlatt performs as an actor, poet, and writer, most recently, winning the University of Nebraska Sigma Tau Delta Short Fiction Slam.