Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Westbound Elegy

by Michael Meyerhofer

Buying canned coffee from a gas station
in the blur between night and day, 
I decide I have not in ten years changed
despite all those costly lectures,
all these rhymes of fey aristocrats.
And the good sense of horses drawing close
from the chill of each fenced-in field.
As for me, I must go on driving
beside a yellow line to somebody’s funeral,
alone but for my gloves and credit card.
This is what passes here for fate:
the heart rests like a tire track
until men made out of paper undress us
and shovel us in fire, and we jump
straight up a stone neck towards the stars.

—Previously published in American Poetry Journal (Issue 10, Spring 2011); appears here by author’s permission


SHJ Issue 16
Spring 2017

Michael Meyerhofer’s

fourth book, What To Do If You’re Buried Alive, was published by Split Lip Press. He is also the author of a fantasy series and the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review. His work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry, Rattle, Brevity, Tupelo Quarterly, Ploughshares, and many other journals. For more information and an embarrassing childhood photo, visit

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury