Megan M. Muthupandiyan



WHO WE ARE (NOT)

 

I am the sister

with whom

he never shared a womb,

he is the lover

I never touched.

 

It is strange

how singularly

negation defines us

in a world of representation;

 

for though

it is a mean thing

to be overwhelmed

by longing,

it is more terrible to deny

the what of what isn't. 

 

 

ON A SANDBAR IN THE SUSQUEHANA, IN YOU

 

for John L. Jaskolski (1928-1994)

 

One faulty valve —

that's all it takes for the failure

of this core or that.

 

You had your own

Three Mile, your heart lapsing

into mere acquaintance,

 

a tourist at the temple.

And though I wonder first what

happened to the heart tissue

 

made by your mother,

cut and overhauled for a sleeker

model, I wonder too if

 

it ever sounded quite

the same when you listened

to the sea in a conch-shell,

 

or if your wife had to

adjust her two-step to follow you

in the years after surgery

 

reset your heart-beat.

Death besets quickening;

in the wake of failure —

 

your valve, that reactor —

all things sensual may have

indeed become so,

 

as never before sodden

spring air lingered, each breath

a start, as if a sighted lover.




Megan M. Muthupandiyan is the author of a children's book titled How Kwaku Ananse, Master Hairstylist, Saved the Animal Kingdom (Songbird Books, October 2010).  Her poems have been published in several journals including Graphos and The Marquette Literary Review.  Currently working on a chapbook titled The Wisdom of Storni, she teaches literature and writing for community development at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. 








                                    

 

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