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Q: Is there anything you miss about your life back then?

By Nathan McClain

On one of those evenings you found yourself walking back, now that much of what daylight was left had moved on, as though some argument had long been settled and nothing lay ahead but a row of muted streetlamps and the future, of course, immediate, shimmering which, let’s face it, you were always going back to despite any guilt you still carried like a flashlight—what was said had been said—the road lonely and flat, no cars, thank goodness, for what would you even say to mercy or kindness in this state, tethered to one end of a straight line. You’d certainly heard all you could handle about the shape of the world, where we were headed if we weren’t careful, if we just let folks say whatever they wanted, if we didn’t do something drastic, as glasses clinked or shattered in the background, which sounded, to a trained ear, a bit like rain, like a storm was coming, or already on top of us.




Listen as Nathan McClain reads Q: Is there anything you miss about your life back then?.

Added: Tuesday, January 16, 2024  /  Used with permission.
Nathan McClain
Photo by Moe Nazemi Photography.

Nathan McClain is the author of Previously Owned (2022), longlisted for the 2023 Massachusetts Book Award, and Scale (2017), both from Four Way Books. He has received fellowships from The Frost Place, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and is a graduate of the M.F.A. Program for Writers at Warren Wilson. A Cave Canem fellow, his poems and prose have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Hopkins Review, Plume Poetry 10, The Common, Poetry Northwest, and Guesthouse, among others. He teaches at Hampshire College and serves as Poetry Editor for The Massachusetts Review.

Image Description: Nathan McClain faces forward with his dreadlocks tied behind his head. He wears a buttoned brown-gray coat, a bright, multi-colored scarf, and rectangular glasses.  

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