Literary Yard

Search for meaning


By: Meghan Doran  

It Pours
When it rains grandma says hey is for horses and a watched pot never boils and needs must and grandpa says Thomas Jefferson was a deist and Ted Kennedy was a sonofabitch and he summons the holy ghost but only the spirit shows up.

When it rains my newly-sober-atheist father decides I need a higher power to relent to but I probably can’t handle anything too metaphysical so the church will have to do. He doesn’t know I reached my spiritual apex a couple of weekends ago when I dropped three tabs and saw Jesus in the side of the John Hancock building.

When it rains I tell everyone that my husband broke my heart and they think it’s a metaphor and laugh nervously when I insist it’s not, and that REALLY I have to see a cardiologist now.

When it rains it rains whiskey and we watch the drops defy gravity for just a moment on the pond and know that those drops are us, then we swim in it even though it burns our skin. You count the frogs while I count the letters in your name and declare this to be our new religion.

When it rains you beg me to stop drowning you in my faith and I tell you I want to but the truth is I can’t, it’s in my veins, you see, to believe in the unbelievable.


Don’t Take it Personally
It has nothing to do with you
the way the fence
fell down this winter, the way the crocus opens
to the sun then closes
to the rain, the way
she forgets your
birthday, the way he’s there
and gone again, the way a country
Can declare war, the way later that day refugees –
Who used to be just people-sit
on concrete with their cats
at the train station, the way the guns are everywhere
the most finite tools of trauma, the way you might die
discriminately or indiscriminately,
either way it’s not your fault
you were born in a nation
beset with rage, the way we see smoke
now from west coast fires 3000 miles
away, wispy barbarians
at the gate, portents that aren’t here for you,
but for all of us.


Congregation in the time of capitalism
I catch it on a breeze –
The humidity carries with it the same scent as the mud –
I cannot help but read what it foretells:
My city is a sweet rot.

Yesterday Nazis –
Young white men who believe in their own supremacy –
Attacked a drag queen story hour down the street.
After that: outrage.
After that: a collective shrug.
This is how my city comes into its own light.

Today the heat broke at our knees
And we returned to believing
We are not engaged in a collective rendering –
A shaking off.
Outside the high rises like kudzu
Continue to creep.
Who could be young and beautiful
And not want a concrete island
Unto themselves?
This is how my city smolders.

Tomorrow is, at best,
For reckoning.
There will still be pneumatic tubes
Down there; roots grasping around
Wires and pipes and all the shards
Of a culture of accumulation greater
Than death; and somewhere under all that:
us here now knowing we need something new:
This is how my city crackles.
Let it be low and beautiful, what comes from the fire.


A resignation

Fingers clack clack clack
Each little ridge grasps for texture, and,
finding none,
Sends an alert straight up the nerve-spine:
This is no way to feel.
Eyes sweep sweep sweep
Rods and cones squeeze neon out of nothing,
A desert of black on white.
Legs cross one way then another,
Muscles create their own tight tangle
For later, for memory, to remind.
Brain, needing chemical release,
Plays the conjurer:

All of a sudden it’s earth-smell
Fingers wrapped in sheets but also soil:
We are planting a garden.
My back is an emerald arch,
Shining, heaving, sharp.
Everywhere, vines, their tensors stretching,
Breathing. I inhale your marvel.

Just as suddenly I am here, clicking again
And again and again and again
Knuckle-muscle sore,
All 22 square feet of skin pulled taut again,
Straining to walk off my body and
Out the office door.
Knowing I would have to follo

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