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June 12, 2023 Poetry

2 Poems

Meghan Jusczak

2 Poems photo


I realize I’ve missed your birthday because my mom’s is the day after. Happy belated bday exploding party hat emoji. Ignore the ghost texts above––do you have my umbrella? / yeah sorry––and I’ll download our memories to cloud storage before the files can corrupt. I document relentlessly––save ticket stubs, wrapping paper, that blue umbrella. My purse bulges with receipts. At the dollar store, they come spilling out, sometimes in a chain. I pull them apart like a harried cashier, rub the magenta-lined ones on my face, ink my cheeks with toxic blush. I struggle with immediacy, can never feel wonder at the correct moment, there’s always a layer of I-am-experiencing-this covering everything like a shroud, some strange film. Like when we walked the banks of Lake Erie. You picked up a moon jellyfish and held it to your eye. Can you see me through there? I asked. Just the outline. The algae bloom looks worse in the photos, like we’re on the shores of an alien planet. Who wants to be forgotten? I don’t.


Strong Poison

I outlast you
every night,
ceremonial & sore.
I don’t mind anymore––
I bring long novels,
crawl out of bed
to the living room,
eat your roommate’s
peanut butter.
The future fills
my mouth, leaves
a burning sensation.
It knows it doesn’t
belong there.

Tonight I dream
of rattlesnakes
circling my ankles.
Tails shivering.
Dark diamonds.
I wish one
would bite me
just so you could
suck the venom out.
Since you’re asleep,
I do it myself.
Noncommittal to
my bones,
my purple blood.