Two Poems
Meg Thompson


When you came in
from the rain,
curved your wet
arm around me like a surprise
I dreamed quickly of boa snakes
dripping across the necks of wide-eyed
women on stage at the zoo,
volunteered by their sisters
who sit in the audience,
gaping, laughing.

Things, After Breakfast, Lifting

My sister woke up afraid she forgot her locker combination, pickled eggs floated to the top of the jar, and I taught my 9:30 on a hillside, in that order. I stood angled, like a deer in the brush, at the edge, the tip, of campus. My students sat cross-legged in the grass. Before I even started teaching one of them got bit on the hand by a rather terse, orange bug. She asked if I thought she might die, her arm raised, for me, and fluttering. I imagined bug poison seeping into her joints, unknotting the hard white bread of her knuckles. My students think I'm smart. They don't know my pastimes include trying to drink water, soundlessly, during office hours. This is different from women in 19th century Boston, lifting themselves on top of toilets to smoke in secret. When they were bored they shaped dollar bills into gentlemen trying not to cough, arms shaking with fire. The universe, covered, spun with ash.