Meg Cowen


It starts in the left throat of the house, a black bird rolling out its notes

                and you're always too far away from it—
                on the road, and
                never near enough to be considered nearly home.
So just believe me

that the heart does not always want,
the lungs may not be willing to give
and the room that is most like a collarbone is rolling in a bleach bath
                                                                                                long before you come.
We say this gnawing is a feeling and not a thing

If you are long enough away, you may find your voice altered
(whether the mouth is open or shut) and that my endings have tapered
into questions—

these questions you can gather, snip, pin like an asterisk
behind my ear
next to the fluid hush
lording over the marrow, the chalked hands speaking, it won't be long now.

Meg Cowen writes, paints on canvas and builds furniture in her old New Hampshire farmhouse. Some of her recent work appears in PANK, Whiskey Island, Passages North and interrupture. She edits Pith, a journal of experimental writing, and lives online at

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