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Dispatch on the Golden Ratio | Megan Gannon

All my life I’ve loved the pleasure of catching
and cataloguing the little beauties that flit past.

I snatch them from their own evanescence
and pin them through their living center.

They last a little longer, or forever, depending.
At any moment I can conjure inside myself

the paisley-shaped eyes my oldest son was given
by another woman, his smooth, almost boneless wrists,

tight curls that grow over the faintly-downy rind
of his still-years-later-and-for-always-eminently-kissable

forehead. Little wonder when I found a body I craved
above all others, I conjured a copy of it in miniature.

Disbelief still, as I curl around my second son
and catalog the wide-palmed hands, end-jutting ribs,

balled calves, and gnome nose. I’ve worried at times
that my love for his father was only skin-deep—the sight

of his sinuous arms tugging my hips towards him
locking and unlocking the clasp of my breathing,

the thirst-catch I can never quench no matter
how many mouths. For centuries his body

has sent artists scrambling towards a blankness
they needed to imprint with the felt permanence

of his perfection. Most of us aren’t up to the task.
Two sculptors abandoned the block of marble

before Michelangelo coaxed my lover’s legs
from that buttery rock. Polykleitos used his proportions

to invent geometry. DaVinci inscribed his form
inside a circle, an image that echoes across centuries

like music of the spheres. He hardly knows
how to inhabit that heavenly body. Through

dappled forest and sun-glutted prairies, I watch
calves slip past the dip of opposite knee

like puzzle pieces. Once, he walked into a coffee shop
and tugged at his shirt-hem as if he understood

the absurdity of his clothing, and I caught the flutter
of that image between my own two hands

and drove the pen in.

As published in the fall 2022 issue of The Heartland Review

Cover of The Heartland Review Fall 2022