Its perpendicular
tilted, falling forward,
this oblique stroke
between lines of verse
or fractions’ numbers
or month/day/year
separates & connects
parts of some whole:
its diagonal can also
offer us alternatives
like his/her, and/or,
a skinny twig partway
between limb & ground,
like me not quite vertical
or horizontal, a slash
leaning into stiff wind.

Copyright © 2017 Michael McFee. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Spring 2017.