Megan Denese Mealor is a full-time writer and mother to a beautiful three-year-old son. Her poems and short stories have been featured in more than twenty publications since 2012, most recently Sick Lit Magazine. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
He taught himself calligraphy
during his driftless days
hopping islands and
hoping to lose himself
in sumptuous, senseless rhythm
amidst the clamoring blazes
and graveyard ghettos,
piles of boulders and bones,
hellish ruptures mauling skies.
Cool-eyed and soundless
in his reeling restraint,
he sketched impetuous ballerinas
in the funereal barracks
parched and poisoned with
the boisterous stench of
reverence, despair, bravura:
a grim carnival of phantoms
peddling peeling sideshows.
Pappaw painted porcelain ponies
for smudged sisters in weary pinafores,
handed out bubble gum cigars
to the hollow-voiced orphans
drifting in the rubble.
He found denotation in detonation,
regalia in the skeletal faces
staggering in haggard conquest,
ascendency etched into the echoes
they left behind to atone for
their sacrilegious tempests,
gray infidel snow.
Five Mornings Later
these parking lot ghosts listen well
silencing their silencing
against the frigid embryo of dawn
obscuring the delirious shuffle of
tenuous scars and evanescent sedans
overtaking the dreamless diameter
created in covert, insidious corners
where the faintly-faring congregate
in rummaging distressed quartets
to pillage streetlight and camraderie
to speak in bloodless languages
escalating from quick to marrow
freeing swaying, cryptic melodies
we must, we must remember fondly
the pillars now powdering between us
gangrene granite withering with atrophy
they foretold this farewell in chamomile
you never rest your speculation on me
you never touch your finger
to my trembling
I pieced together mine
out of heirloom anecdotes
and alien bits of familial folklore
from the trenches of a childhood
bristling with rickety shadows
erratic and fitful, existing in the
garish borderline where I stored
all my barbed angles in kitschy boxes.
He once healed a disarmed duckling,
unleashed titanic plodding tortoises
into our shaggy gray yard adorned
with weeping willows spilling woe
into the prodigal soil poisoning azaleas.
He stood over me in every sandbox,
commanding the construction of castles,
his tenacious shade shrouding all reverie.
He was tyricannal at losing or winning,
his bike was gray and gleamed with gloating.
He conditioned the other cul-de-sac cherubs
to toss pebbles at my head because
I would always somehow deserve it.
Now he scowls through every Easter,
sighs resignedly under his breath
at the anemic table littered with the dregs
of our lifeless inheritance.
He checks the wall clock
above the white brick fireplace
in the pitted den
every time our mother speaks.
He asks me nothing,
I ask for nothing,
matching mazarine eyes
never failing to
The Ones Before Ours
Crazed as cobras they were,
purging venom in the hollow dust.
They came hunting sovereigns,
more indulgent gods, a hotbed
heaven devoid of all restraint,
finding bygone littered bones
blistering in flimsy haystacks.
But who were we to unspell
their impassioned appellations,
to reduce their brazen testament
to indigenous residue?
We found carvings of infants
and infernos and idols lost to
the chronology of salvation,
cryptic sagas of spontaneous courage,
romance brimming in the stones.
They claw our crowing windows
when the half-moon is sizzling,
carnal excision still burning in
their shivering nomadic bones.
Asylum Patient 141
the most uncertain of us,
rusts the very bones of saints.
It steals the fractured heart of science,
filters it into fairy tales,
We angelicize our demons
in this frenzied, fetid freeze,
this place of Cimmerian shade
and unadorned obscurity.
We play both violence and victim,
as they falter hand in hand.
Here, we are anonymous
in our absolution,
riotous in our remorseless misery,
teasing stifled screams into
black winters, yawning stars.
Our malignant veins
flow with rabid venom;
our hearts retain
the incineration of the sun.
They confiscate our secret languages,
our apple seeds,
our potential for potency.
In here, we forget
the calamity of our daughters,
the sageness and solidity
of our mothers,
every cursory gaze of adoration
every mountain moved
by the brothers in silhouette
we memorized long ago.
We unleash our cheerless skies,
repel our distant thunder.
To absolve ourselves of stigma,
we accept thoughtful torture,
Contrition is a price
we cannot afford to pay.
There are damnable stones
we cannot unthrow,
now that our mirrors
now that our walls
have been razed
to righteous earth.
We locked away our maladies,
relishing our ragged wounds.
Now we dance for no one
but the mirage of moon peering
through barred immunity.
After the unknowing
comes the sequined ballroom haze.
After the unbecoming
comes the boundless beaming Bellatrix
warring with Polaris
up in the seasick night.