Memories Of “M”


“M” is for mother, marbles, and meatballs,
but in my lexicon,
it’s for Mike, Max, and Morty.
Meeting Mike at sixteen,
I loved him madly and later
missed him more than imagined.
Mike had read all the books:
Proust, Hegel, and Marx.
He lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota
with a dog named Mildred,
and my name is Malca:
how’s that for M?
“M” is for miracles
and the mistakes we make.

I left Mike for Max
thinking that if I could choose
between these men, I would know who I was.

“M” is for men:
mean, marvelous, or middling.
“M” is for muddle
and the mud on spring campuses.

Max majored in medicine
like the guy in the Beatles’ song
and made me macaroni.
Then, Max unchose me!
He met Maura while off in Missouri.

The following May, I met Morty.
He took me for a spin in his Mazda,
but I wasn’t impressed.
I nearly suffocated under the weight of his gifts.
He telephoned every morning
like an alarm clock ringing.
“M” is for Mother who liked Morty best.

Maternal mutterings,
mournful matters.
“M” goes on forever,
a mouth that speaks.

“M” is the thirteenth letter
in the alphabet:
did it bring me luck?

Such was my maiden voyage
in the land of men:
trying like Alice
to become a queen
which is, after all,
what the name “Malca” means.

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