s
s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLC

GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE

 

 

 

submit

SUBMIT TO SOUTHWORD

 

 


FOOL FOR POETRY
INTERNATIONAL CHAPBOOK
COMPETITION


 

 

BOOKSTORE: CHAPBOOKS

 

 


by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan

BOOKSTORE: TRANSLATIONS

 

 

 

Arts Council

 

 

 

Cork City Council

 

 

 

Foras na Gaeilge

 

 

 

Cork County Council

   

 

 

CAITLIN COWAN

 

 

 

Caitlin Pryor

Caitlin Cowan's poetry is forthcoming or has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, Redivider, Nimrod, The Mississippi Review, Poet Lore, Fugue, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from The New School and a PhD from The University of North Texas, where she is currently a teaching fellow and serves as the Managing Editor of the American Literary Review. You can learn more about her work at caitlincowan.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Meter

 

While you take meetings I wander the wet

and uphill streets—anthropologist

 

who tempts the lightning with umbrella spoke, the shelter

a dripping carousel. I visit Japantown in fog,

 

spending my little cash on ideas of animals cast in rubber—

erasers I line up on the railing outside, rank-and-file

 

as the seals we watch later, open-mouthed.

They, too, are made things, bulgebellies who slap

 

the wharf. I’ve been here before—

this city of my last family vacation,

 

but this time it’s you who fill the grey streets

with your hailing. The cable cars that mother loved

 

you derail with an errant hand. The cold drizzle halts

at the shore of your whitecapped smile.

 

These weeks are no different than the other three hundred

we’ve imbibed together, each slowly diluting my life

 

before you—the kaleidoscope of those who made me

dims and slows, even as I direct sequels

 

against the backdrops of those home videos—

me on the redwood roots,

 

dad piloting mom in a wheelchair

I never imagined he’d push away.

 

Now we meander to the arcade museum,

bellies full of unlucky crab.

 

Each whirring antique dares us to forget

what’s come before—

 

every morning we awake and agree to stay,

our matching pillowcases a silent yes.

 

You drop a quarter and I watch

the firefly pop of the meter’s bulbs

 

vacillating between true love and poor fish.

You tighten your grip and we wait for the verdict—

 

how much easier to feed the machine our little choice?

My breath slows as the lights strike their pronouncements,

 

the tips of molten swords in blacksmith fire, revealing

a future your grip squeezes, steadily, towards.

 

 

 

©2015 Caitlin Cowan

 

 

 

Author Links

 

Caitlin Cowan homepage

The American Literary Review

 

 

 

CONTENTS BACK TO TOP NEXT POEM

 

 

   
 
©2009 Southword Editions
and
Munster Literature Centre
   

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15