Leaving Connecticut

Our clouds go limp
like dead harp seals
--don’t look up,

they’ll know 
you’re not 
from here.

Tent caterpillars
have built nests 
in my armpits

for years now.
They like 
lavender deodorant

and the green shirt
I wear once 
a week. Insects

need consistency
just as much as
the next person.

O neighbor,
I couldn’t 
keep letting you

plant half-dead
shrubs on
my property,

couldn’t keep feeding
the birds mouth-
to-beak to keep them

out of your yard.
I’ve always scraped
the mildew

from my own
elbows and knees.
This tells me

we humans are
capable of
so many things

like growing our
own teeth and 
skipping breakfast.

Sure we’re 
and slow

but so are 
domestic cats
when no one’s looking.

is learning to 
live without

bright yellow lines,
knowing the best 

to flick webs off
your body is
to use a torch.


Meg Cowen's poems have recently appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Harpur Palate, THRUSH and The Pinch. A recipient of the Elizabeth Curry Prize, she has taught creative writing at Southern Connecticut State university and edited Noctua Review. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as Best New Poets. Her second chapbook, If Tigers Do Not Come, won the Palettes and Quills Chapbook Contest in 2013.