MEG MCKEON


Exordium

There are buckets of water lining
the drawers of the old armoire.
A tiny creature in each.

All of the children have been told
not to open the last: creaking
with the weight of one little girl.

I have led them here to this place
where bits of bacon simmer
and litter the floor.

Careful. Everything is full.

If you wait long enough
there will be a reckoning
between the flesh

of the roof and the meat
of things concealed
in the basement.

Someone scraped off the ladybug
that was ossified on my popcorn
ceiling for years. I miss her. 


Pastoral

Snow is filling cracks
in the stone wall
outside near the falling-
down barn. The cows
are sounding the alarm,
one burst stomach
after another.
Lets have everyone
drive safe without
the law, right?
Birds have all gone
quiet with gristle
hanging feathered
in their beaks.
Prints push needled
ground into shapes
of things that were there.
Travel with me a while
‘round the dark pit.
There are no corners
but angled voices.
Only the longest
scarves make it back,
carrying the sleeping
and the dead.


PHTHISIS

How many ships eat

            bottom and boil

                        the water, open-clammed?

A little girl in the surf

            ties seaweed in her hairs

                        strung with lanterns.

She calls you home to barnacle

            yourself against the rockingchair,

                        flush to the remains

of your childhood

            fort.

This is a game for innocents

            locked into a fight with hours.

                        Everyone wears ballgowns now,

bumping one another with tufted

            hoops.

                        Do not forget

the pulp of an army

            with melted toys for bullets.


VERSICOLOR

First, refuse to eat

            anything unlit by one

                        candle, wick smartly trimmed.

This is the way of things.

            Everyone is asleep, but no one

                        will go home

                                    without a keyboard piece.

I blame the feathers

            puffing out between

                        my teeth.

                        Where is the electric floss?

Ask the person who’s hiding

            in the vines

                        of the sheets, twisted

                        and akimbo.

Take home all that you can carry,

feel rushed, forget one slipper –

            no one can hear you now.


 

Photo by Lauren Henley

BIO

MEG MCKEON is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Texas at Austin and currently serves as an Associate Poetry Editor of Bat City Review. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in: LEVELER; smoking glue gun; Forklift Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety; and Spork Press.