Two Poems

Meg Cowen

Nocturne in which I can’t decide if you should stay in or get out of your car during a thunderstorm


We could have lengthened our year by three hours, improved our float

in a failing atmosphere. As I understand it, you have a nucleus and a head

drawn by hair-like trains across a body of little disturbing influence. I have

to change the locks no matter how many keys are returned, fan my fever

off with four small moons, each of them borrowed. My own electrical fluid

is so remote I have to drag it in by force, pass it through other bodies first, bruise

approaching like an insinuation. Can you feel it here, over the surface? Probably

not. Your transmission is stalled somewhere in a swell and a blur and everyone

in the backseat looks happy. It’s helped me to think of us as kings with two

glass hearts rushing over spaces between stars that looked shorter on the map.

That’s fifty-thousand light years within each rib I didn’t know was there until

you showed me. All that dark matter cannot be met with much resistance.

Where there is no air and you have a choice, I say always drive windows-open.



Higher elevations are pictured in red


Pretend there’s

a distraction

in your chest

that someone

in the next room

is asking how

lemons are preserved.

There is dust under

each opened jar

dust on all mothers

and a ridge that

just keeps going.

You are filled

with birds and

beasts and

creeping things.

A considerable

portion of your

arms are forested

still. With all the good

you do how come

we keep getting

the hiding place wrong?

What you miss most

is still mine

in sickening

abundance. But

hey, listen,

it’s not worth

crying over

a necessity.

By this whalelight

we see our

distortions on

display we

face east and

call ourselves


as listeners as

sisters as


talking in stones.

Perhaps you

can imagine us

better as an

orchestra breaking

apart. Let’s agree

when we

no longer



we’ll take up

our salt and

alter this landscape

with both wrists





 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Meg Cowen's first poetry collection, Elastic Shriek Machine is forthcoming in 2016 from Knut House Press. Some of her recent work appears (or will soon appear) in DIAGRAM, Whiskey Island, Passages North, VECTOR Press and PANK. She is the founding editor of Pith.