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


Last Psalm at Sea Level

hiraeth n. a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return,
a home which maybe never was

           Sorrow, I have nowhere to go.
We meet at dawn, your face
always the ceiling, your body
its own beast wedged between us,
hooves against my chest,
their weight a violent kiss
made gentle by the gravity
of sleep until the sun rises
or doesn’t.
                 A thousand miles
from here there is a forty-threehundred-
foot drop to the forgotten
syllable of her name that sometimes
surfaces at night like a buoy in my mouth
& bobs through the jetsam
of homesickness that pollutes
even my dreams:
                            she is a lighthouse,
& I do not wish to be the sea.
Sorrow, I have cried out my own
name without California’s for so long
it might as well have been a prayer.
Sorrow, I’ll bury my woman
heart in the hard bed of this valley
& let it sleep like the fish frozen
among the boulders in the Provo River
or the memory of a childhood
desire to be a boy on a horse
with a rifle of his own—
I will follow your hoofprints anywhere
but to the shoreline that made me
a tidepool instead of solid stone. I wish
instead for a field of corn: I wish for a season
that does not begin with the quick tides
of ache. I wish for a compass that leads
me like a horse to water, but leaves me
at the edge of an unfenced field
& I wish the god of this place would
come down from the roof & wake
me herself.


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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