the louderARTS Project

Meghann Plunkett

Meghann Plunkett studies creative writing as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence college. Her poetry has appeared in The Shop Magazine and Southword (Ireland). She currently works with the Community Word Project, a New York City based arts-in-education organization, and will be graduating this spring.  

 




Mea Culpa
By Meghann Plunkett

Behind the book
you borrowed
with the coffee
mug footprint
on the cover,
next to the finger
curled spider plant,
I have a dictionary
that defines things
as they aren’t.
It’s more precise
that way. Perfect
without pinpoint,
on Mondays I shuffle
the pages as randomly
as a roll of the dice
and place my finger
down on a wayward
word. This is the way
I learn the world
as it is not: an inverse,
a tilted olive on a tooth-
picked axis, a world
where black-birds are not
only built for an under-
combed garden, jasmine
is not the scent of hatred
in the morning, the ocean
not a jealous copy
of the sky, a whisper is not
an understatement, men
are not the monsters
of middle-management,
you can’t smile until
suffocation. This is 
the way I understand
the world in negative spaces,
chalk-outlines of men sitting
upright on subways, first glances
as dotted lines between
strangers. This is the way
I re-write my own existence,
I do not recognize my shape
in the mirror each morning,
this mumble of make-up
down one cheek, I do not
look for love on moving
things, will never find
a match to my slaughter-
house eyes, do not suck
the earth out from dirty
fingernails, I do not bend,
I am not malleable, I birthed
This spine, I don’t look for
love in the earth-worm
taste of your sidewalk, I don’t
look for love in the scratch,
or the up-thrust, never
in the fuck-you twitch
of the upper lip.
I am not hollow, my god
is manicured and lives
between my legs.
I do not love you.
I do not love you. 

 



© Meghann Plunkett



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