Two Poems by Meghann Plunkett 





I hated the silver dollar game
pulled from behind the ear
and a tiny feigned surprise
steaming from the meat of me.
What hasn’t changed? A house
trimmed in lemondrop, the rate
at which something falls, ankles
crossed while sipping tea. But
that’s the game. You tell me
to touch my toes and the neighbor’s
dog begins to howl. You tell me
to wrap your belt around my throat
and sirens from the window.
I know what is expected. The way
a town shrinks in a rearview
mirror, a tapering in of the waist.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And I was made for the slow reveal.
The rabbit from a hat, clenched
in a fist. The assistant who catches
the bullet in her teeth. Over and
over and over again.






I drank until the world turned like an egg timer
                  & I saw my mother in everything:
a discarded chest of drawers on the street,
                  the graffiti caramelized on concrete,
a crushed mouse in an unbaited trap.
                  An empty bottle of vodka & that’s
my mother. A soft burning at the back
                  of the throat raised me
until I understood how to speak a lexicon
                  of sorry. Every morning,
five song birds broken
                  at the base of the big window
& that’s my genetic code. She is a country
                  I can’t leave. I am crowded
with mothers. The world filled with not-her.
                  A carnival-heart cobbled together. 
She is a picket-line of regret. I mistook
                  her for a barstool. I mistook her
for the word please. I open my mouth
                  and cough up scraps of her
wedding dress. I am just her idea
                  that was allowed a spine.