The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Meg Day’s “Last Psalm at Sea Level”


Sit on the Floor with Me

Bolt the small of my back to the baseboards
& feel for the break, the bass of bilabials bumping
through the dimpled mesh of the radio’s mouth,
its teeth tapping Morse code into the floorboards
of our spines. Put your fingers to my suckerpunch

& pulsecheck the traffic report, brought to you
by hipbones & heels—put handprint to hardwood
like you would palm a train rail, like feeling in the dark.

At five, I pressed my lips to the grate of my grandmother’s
Crosley, let broadcasts buzz into the pipe of my jawbone
& learned to listen with my tongue, a flick-thin string
that carried sound from the world’s tin can to mine.

At five, I knew my name only as a chestbeat-thumped M,
as three letters scratched in crayon, knew my momma’s call
from down the aisle at church—the quick flick of wrists
visible only in periphery.
                                      Sit on the floor with me
& dial my frequency; station me static witness & open
my listening; crank up your antennae to commercial-free
me in the quiet, pull the foghorn from your throat,
bellow my bass-bones & help me relearn how to flinch.


This selection comes from Meg Day’s collection Last Psalm at Sea Level, available from Barrow Street. Purchase your copy here!

Meg Day is the 2015-2016 recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, a 2013 recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and the author of Last Psalm at Sea Level (Barrow Street 2014). Meg earned her PhD in Poetry & Disability Poetics at the University of Utah and will join the faculty at Franklin & Marshall College this fall.

A recipient of a 2015 NEA Fellowship for poetry, grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund and the Kentucky Foundation for Women, Staci R. Schoenfeld’s poems appear in or are forthcoming from Washington Square, Mid-American Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Muzzle, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. She is a PhD student at the University of South Dakota.

Leave a Reply