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


Somewhere, There Is a Long Drive Waiting for Me

a thumb-grooved collarbone of land, paved like
a thick streak of knee-scab, a jugular in the night,
its pulse the uneven stalk of pacing.

It loiters, impatient & yawning, stretched open
at the mouth as if to signal it is time, as if
to suggest I have outstayed my welcome.

Before you were born, my pops taught me to read
the lines of driftwood—this one will warp, this one
will rot—my fists full of sand dollars, his focus

a deep-seated furrow in the folds of my forehead;
we sat salt-licked for hours in the sun, pulling slick
kelp blades from their twine, relearning how to tie a knot,
training to build by binding, to tether two at once.

Somewhere there is another sky: shark-skinned &
smoothed by sandpaper, reeled right in to the dock
of a sweet-boarded porch floor, lapping

a smooth-railed wraparound whose hips
have settled, save the swing at the front—seats two—
& the sway that gives when monsoon season comes.

Find me there, still thick-sighed with the asphalt of April,
kneebows hugging the edge, my legs
of driftwood tucked like bouquets under each arm

& in the middle, the elbow of a rocking chair,
the one I promised you, cradled easy in the lope
of my knotting, a half-hitch of fastening,
a button through its tear.


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.


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