Poetry Suite by Megan Waring

Editor Sam Preminger, Poetry, June 4th, 2019

"There is pain in seeing things / as they are."


Poetry by Megan Waring

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Beginning on Your Bed and Ending in a High School Hallway

It took me months to tell you
what happened to me in high school.
First, I didn’t want to. Then, you didn’t want me to.
And now here we are, sitting criss-cross applesauce
on your bed, facing each other. You are staring
into my eyes. I am staring into yours. Your hair is messy.
Mine too. I am leaning against the headboard
because I am weak. You are sitting up straight
because you are flexible. We are answering
The 36 Questions That Make You Fall In Love.
We are already in love. You for months, me for longer.
It’s not a competition, I know. When I tell you, I wonder
if you will believe me. Or if you will turn into Rebecca,
standing by the lockers we always stand by,
in the fluorescent light we always see by,
before the bell we always obey. Rebecca who
tucked her hair behind her ear, said
Girls lie about that sort of thing all the time.
Rebecca who just turned, walked away, taking with her
sleepovers, tiny notes folded into squares, braids,
sex advice from magazines, college essays–
as if it was nothing. As if she couldn’t even feel
the weight of it dragging behind her.

-after Kim Addonizio

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Peach Ice Cream

The murder podcast I listen to while making
dinner for one, chats about the facts of Typhoid Mary,
a woman quarantined after people kept dying
from eating her homemade peach ice cream.
Asymptomatic Mary can’t believe it’s her, this disease
that turns people inside out. She feels nothing. They beg
her to stay out of the kitchen, cross her heart and–
stop cooking. Wash her hands. Stubborn Mary refuses.
The Podcasters say what the heck, back away
from the food. But I get it, handwashing was a new concept
and she wasn’t sick. There is pain in seeing things
as they are. Relatable, Stubborn Me thinks as I set
the table for one.
                            I keep coming back
to this nasty place inside of me that is waiting
for permission to be mad at you– got an old habit
of playing the victim. Delusional Mary made a vow, but went
back to cooking, killing– a murderer who can’t believe she’s guilty.
When you told me you weren’t
                            moving to Boston,
I cried so hard in my best friend’s shower I had to sit, couldn’t trust
my legs. Pushed my face into tile, pushed my tongue
to my teeth. Listen,                    I know it’s toxic
to hold on to blame, know this comparison to Mary is weak
but Colombia is just so far away and has shitty wifi. Yesterday
I tried to tell you that I missed our Trader Joe’s ritual
but my text came back: “undelivered”. I don’t even know
where Trader Joe’s is here and it’s fucking me up.
Listen, I know
                            that long distance isn’t murder
and that this is a shitty analogy. I’m just saying
sometimes the nasty bits seep in and attack
the healthy thing we are creating.
Listen, I’m just saying
                            I’m sorry. Come home.
I am so lonely I am relating to killers.
Listen, I’m saying I miss you.

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The God of Waste came to me saying let me in.
I said the door is already open, the lock
broke years ago. The God of Waste broke
open her own jaw and swallowed the whole
seed of the house with me in it saying don’t
talk back. I screamed for help for twelve
days straight until my Throat quit, packing
her bags and leaving, saying Einstein would call
this insanity. So I resorted to clapping, hoping
someone would hear, someone with a rope, with jaws
of life. I clapped and clapped inside the God of Waste,
steady at first, but by day nineteen just a broken
faucet. My hands reduced to raw chapping skin
by day twenty-two. Bone-now-sand on day
twenty- eight. On day thirty, the God of Waste dry-
heaved me back to land. Said see, you have done nothing
but make noise, you waste, you Waste.

                                                            There is no God
of Waste. I am lying on my side, staring at the same spot
on the same wall.

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You’ll Be

Okay puts on her torn sleep shirt, lies in bed, six pillows high,
watches Hulu. Okay drinks corner store chardonnay. Throws
the shitty dinner down the sink and goes for take-out. Okay forgets
she promised herself to eat paleo this week, sneezes too loud
on the subway, cries on the phone to her best friend about how Cristina
left Meredith and it’s the worst death on tv. Okay loses seven pounds
and gains back three, buys yellow flowers and lets them wilt in a glass.
Okay wears flat shoes and cheap pants from Target,
but she throws them out when they rip. Okay does above average
at her job most days, but some days the clock just drags on. Okay
goes to work anyway. Okay makes frittatas every Sunday until she is tired
of frittatas and dumps the frittata down the sink. Okay watches
Sex and the City even though she knows it is problematic, still feels
so betrayed when Big doesn’t show, texts her best friend why not Aidan?
Okay drinks the coffee even after it’s cold. Okay cuts the bruise
out of the apple. Okay listens to Carly Rae Jepson in her earbuds,
that only work at that one exact angle. She puts her hands
in her pockets, finds the crumbs of a cookie and smiles.

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Beet Juice

I take a teaspoon to my childhood garden,
looking for something I lost.
My fingers crumble the soil
until they clench the coarse black hairs
of my first boyfriend’s beard. I tug
him up and watch him stand
and shake off

the years.

He pulls a cigarette out of the calla lilies.
Flicks his fingers to light it. Looks down
like he might devour me.

I thought you drowned,
I look up at him rising above me,
in your mother’s bathtub.

Who hasn’t? He says as he coughs
out a cloud of smoke and a single beet.
Be honest with yourself.

He hands me the beet and rambles
down the street, sputtering like his old truck.
I drench the beet with salt. Eat it for dinner
with a teaspoon. Forget to shake off the dirt.
The red juice stains my chin.

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Header image courtesy of Jay Riggio. To view his artist feature, go here.

Megan Waring is a poet, playwright and fiber artist who currently resides in Boston.  She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Virginia Tech and is currently earning her MFA in poetry from University of Massachusetts Boston.  In between degrees, she worked in education and non-profits in China and California. She is the honored recipient of Virginia Tech’s Literary Award and her work is forthcoming or published in Salamander, The Legendary, Pulp Literature, Aegir, and Germ Magazine, among others. Her second co-authored play, Archer and the Yeti, is being produced by Greene Room Productions in October 2019.


Sam Preminger

Sam Preminger is a Portland-based poet. Their work has appeared throughout various publications and they hold an MFA from Pacific University.