Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"I'll Explain the Breadcrumbs Later" [Meg Cowan]

"I'll Explain the Breadcrumbs Later"
(Meg Cowan)

Out here where the fallen snow smells of anise
and power lines swag in strips of licorice

there is no shame in bettering your chances—
in hoping the birds have already left.  

It’s nearly always a woman lulling you in
with promises of a telephone and warm broth;

a promise to love you in the way only
a decaying tooth can. There is always a trellis,

an unpruned trumpet vine, a couple of lambs
baring sugar-cube teeth at you—their pupils

constricted to a Phillips head setting (telling
you ‘stop’ or ‘pray’ depending on your angle).

They know that under her calico dress
those knees bend back just like theirs.

You’ll be too busy gnawing a ginger shingle
to hear the gas flick on. She knows.

She knows all you want is for someone
to comb your hair into slack braids, fill you

with cabbage and blood pudding while she
renders a mazurka on her squeezebox.  

She’ll join fingertips around your wrist, run
her hand up your arm as far as it can go,

far enough to decide if you’re ready. As you
follow her upstairs like a docile hound, listen

for a slip—for her to wonder aloud if a
dusting of flour precludes the egg wash.

When she stresses the finality of breadcrumbs,
that’s your cue. Be polite, but don’t stop to pick

butterscotch off the doorjamb. By the time
you get to the road, you may find pinch bruises

surfacing on the thickest parts of your arms.
If there’s a spike buck lapping a puddle of

root beer, he won’t believe you were looking
for a phone—the dead giveaway:

your bare feet. Your breath
and hair now heavy with clove.

"I'll Explain the Breadcrumbs Later" by Meg Cowan appeared online in The Pedestal Magazine

Meg Cowan in her own words: "In a perfect world, I’d be a writer AND an illustrator while returning to school once again to study ornithology, maybe botany. I’m happy as long as I’m learning new things.  My husband and I are seriously considering moving further north in New England and going 'off the grid' in as many ways as we can.  We hope by this summer, our dreams of an old farmhouse in Vermont surrounded by lots of acreage will be very close to reality.

I’m also the Editor in Chief of Noctua Review, which is the annual art and lit journal published by Southern Connecticut State University, where I’ve received a fellowship for the 2012-2013 year (and will be influencing young minds …. scary).  And I’m an avid reader of current writing.  I can’t stress enough the importance of being a reader before you class yourself as a writer. . . . 

I call people 'dude' a lot.  I bow to the Dalai Lama and Tom Waits only, and in no particular order."

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