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megan denton / two poems


and pretentious. Look: I’ve squeezed you all into this one boring poem—no flowers this time,

just a quick fox circling.

* a sentence or verse that contains all the letters of the alphabet



For the horse I let loose—for Loretta, for Towanda, for Hippolyta 

with her war belt, for Thecla’s Lioness: it is said 

Lakshmi sprang forth from an ocean of milk (churned by the gods) 

and so too can we

arrive naked on our own seashell, flanked by angels. 

There is no secret handshake. Use your body like a jumper cable 

and call it heaven rushing in. Step into the white-hot field, feel 

the heat in your throat. Recite Chaucer 

to the cows. Consider the wasp drawing back 

her sting, Artemis

drawing back her bow. There is a secret fiesta going on 

in a mossy wood 

and you are invited. There will be howling. And dancing.

It is said that when Thecla entered the arena to be murdered by savage beasts

she baptized herself in a pool of wild sea lions 

instead of being devoured by them

and all the women in the audience gasped,

as if from one mouth. A white magnolia

still on its stem. Sister, enter the garden 

of delights. Just come lie beside me. In July, 

we pinch and stir. In August, 

we topple kingdoms.


Megan Denton is the author of Mustard, Milk, and Gin (Hub City Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize. She received her MFA from Purdue University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, The Adroit Journal, Sixth Finch, Passages North, and elsewhere. She currently lives and teaches in North Carolina.

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