Maureen McHugh


It was a question, something static, something you said about
fourteen poems called "twenty-seven ways of viewing yourself
underwater," that's how we chose. The way you asked me. All
twenty-seven included opening yourself up like a clam, tough and
experiential. You loved it like none of these verbs make sense, like
evolving beyond black eyes to lantern-headed or it was a tough car
door, it was quite metallic. Questions like leaving sucker-punched behind,
a how-to manual. All of my verbs were like Anansi, spider-mouthed, blowing
on dead bones or bodies like daughter, like all eight eyes eating for violence or
hunger. It was a thing called you asked for it, casual as pass the salt or get on
top of me. It was a story that we read while peeling off the layers of our
clothing, sixteen words for the completion of these buttons are so small
but death is perfect, death is perfect, death is perfect, and surprised.

Maureen McHugh is pursuing a degree in English with a minor in Classics. She has previously been published in Stylus magazine and is the editor of University of Maryland's independent literary journal That Far Down. She also assists with teaching lower level poetry workshops..

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