two poems

by Meghan McClure

In a Constant State of Ruin We Find Light

I’ve heard the world is made of light & shadows,
but I do not believe this or any thing I can’t hold.

The world is also made of the smell of your neck & lemons
& bullets & ink & empty glasses & garlic & kisses &

all of these things will wither – which is to say
fade away – & become a reason in the soil

for why things thrive or die. Tiny seismics of the day
vibrating beneath the crust of what we see.

When I turned the corner at the museum & found myself
in the room full of sarcophagi lit from the skylight,

the stone shone golden & for a moment I almost believed
in something bigger than ruin. I almost believed

in the ghostly bloom of light across time. I almost
climbed inside the stone box like a shell.

I learned sarcophagus means flesh-eating stone
& I want to be the stone that holds all the flesh I love

because no shadow could ever mean anything
in a place as dark as the inside of that box.

I want to believe I could contain anything more than breath
& dust. I want to live like ruins touched only by lights & shadows.

 

Don’t Blame Me For the Sun’s Reluctance

There is a myth about August, but I live like it is truth &
the city was nothing & nothing more than I needed, so

when you said Don’t blame me for the sun’s reluctance what you don’t know
is I turned to god to blame him & he was sleeping. It was dark

when our drinks were done, all that was left was what looked like the sun &
was instead the candle’s flame reflecting off the empty bottom of the glasses.

You want me to see how small things can look & I want you to see anything
bigger than the hairs on my arm – see how they look like light bulb filaments in this light?

Our teeth wanted different things, I could tell by the way the glass sounded against them &
when I said, Let’s consider… & you said, I’m tired of considering, just let it be & there was nothing

I could do because my want becomes want becomes the reason my hands are tied
behind my back & you are whispering something I can’t hear into my pillow.

Do you want to hear the myth about August? Have you ever taken a bath &
it is so hot it feels cold when you first step in? Look me in the eyes, see that flame?

Meghan McClure is author of the chapbook Portrait of a Body in Wreckages (Newfound Press, 2017) and co-author of A Single Throat Opens (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). Her poems and essays have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Water~Stone Review, American Literary Review, Pithead Chapel, American Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in California.
Artwork by: Rosa Tarlarini 
Rosa Tarlarini is an Italian collage artist.