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Meghan Mcclure
Poems

About the Poet

Meghan McClure’s poems explore the complexities of relationship as mirrored in the intricate web of hard science and abstract.

They have been published in the Mid-American Review, roger: an art & literary journal, Superstition Review, Existere Journal, Bluestem, and Floating Bridge Review.

Born in Connecticut, she now lives in the State of Washington, where she studied with Fleda Brown, former Poet Laureate of Delaware, for two of her three years at the Rainier Writing Workshop, the MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.

She is co-director of Zimbags, a non-profit organization empowering women in Zimbabwe to overcome extreme poverty.

 


Spring 2014 »
Balanced as an Eyelash on Your Fingertip

That shivering of landscape:
a murmuration of starlings

lifts and curls, their glossy ink
casts fluid shadows over us.

A system poised to tip
like avalanches or crystallization.

One starling’s movement
influenced by every other starling

no matter how far removed
from the dark and trembling center.

~

How an Equation Begins

An equation begins with a barrier,
a gap stretched wide

between what is
and what could be.

An un-flipped switch
at your rough fingertips,

all potential of current:
electricity through wires

strung precisely and taut
to get to the other side.

Lightning to a key
through a kite string.

Sodium, potassium, calcium to nerves
through your heart.

Charged particles captured
and lined up in circuits.

You, right in front of me
smelling of salt and warmth and

yet, apart from me. This space –

~

Refractions

I offer you these small
meditations of precision:

light refracted off your watch face,
through blinds closed tight,

in a cup of water on the nightstand,
between parted fingers.

The light across our bed
is from streetlights, not stars.

If it were stars we might know
how to look at the same thing, together.

We would have exacting lenses to look through,
maps of the constellations, guidebooks to the galaxies.

Scientists learned to press tiny symbols together
to form the way we view stars –

the angle of incidence,
which is always closer than we think;

the velocity of a wave (sight or sound)
can change speed, but not direction.

So, maybe it doesn’t matter if it is
street lights or stars. It is light,

partially reflected or partially refracted –
your gaze has a lot to do with it.

Mine, through my hair.
Yours, also through my hair.

Doubled in a raindrop’s dome,
in this gaze you can be turned upside down

like a rocket on fire
headed back toward Earth.

~

Failure, Then Miracle

There is glass
so thin it is
two-dimensional.
Three atoms
thick and
an accident.

Aren’t all things
that small
some sort of
eyes-wide,
shoulder-shrug
of miracle?

Scientists tried
for a sheet of carbon,
but oxygen slid in,
making room
for the unfeasible,
like a newborn’s scream.

A failed attempt,
an air leak
becomes something
so fragile
you have to
breathe for it.

~

Salut, Salut
Sit here with me, tell me something.
Blood freezes at -3 degrees Celsius.
The saltier the solution, the lower the freezing temperature.
       
You always tell me disconnected stories.
Where did you put those candles?
A field of birds disperses.
They keep moving for warmth.
       
                 Or because they don’t know how else…
Will you set the wine to mulling on the stove?
       
That will keep our tongues warm and loose.
       
I walked the honeyed fields for hours with my hazy prayers
casting a gauze over the whole thing like an aged wedding dress.
       
Please, add another log.
   
Rain has its own way down that we will never understand.
 
Like the time you forgot my name and the day?
       
Yes, but more frightening. Let’s get back to the birds…
Let’s sit by the fire and watch ash cool to grey,
then to the white of teeth, while you roll these stories
around in your mouth like a broken roll of pennies,
the copper tasting of blood and then…
         
I will read to you of both first light and dusk,
leaving out which is which.


Meghan McClure ~

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