Meghan Privitello

You Can Almost Touch It



When picture frames are unimpressed with everything they’ve seen

happen in the water, it is time to start drafting blueprints of the ineffable.

Little blue ideas, little blue loves. It’s all transportable. It’s all

unattainable. Today my neck is longer than usual which means I am

failing to see what is in front of me. The geese are ample, talking to

the windowsills about the shortage of pies saying I’d kill for an apple. I’d

kill for a light bulb to hover above my head so the neighbor would

know I was thinking about the best way to steal his life. These are the

pink newborn years; everything wrinkled and aching to unfurl. When

you’re done defining the year by how many people haven’t drowned,

come to the lake with me and see what god was talking about with all

his walking on water gab. There are miracles like embarrassed children

waiting for us to tell them they are brave. If you take a picture of the

miracle happening, the image will be historically resonant. The way a

Lite-Brite is today’s tabletop monument of happiness.




I could have chosen to die in the mountains but I was busy imagining

a perfect beginning. Tornadoes were regular visitors, always breaking

the china without apology. I am a woman when I drink anything out

of a teacup. I am trying to be the perfect floral dress. When I find a

rip in the fabric, the gods hand me safety pins and I sink at how

domestic they’ve become. You walked away after hearing too many

stories about the fortune of grey skies and I tried to catch you like a

disease meant for the poor flowers of the earth. Don’t keep giving me

lightning as a threat. I’ve driven on miles of mountain roads with two

wheels on the ground. I was sleeping the whole time. Coming this

close to death is what blue glaciers are always lecturing me against.

Enough with the blazer full of moths. I always see the same thing in

ink blots; you and me treating each other like holy shadows, wishing

for the same black knife to tell us how it ends.




You, dog’s wet nose. You, hard black eye. We are weaving in and out

of what might be an aorta, what might be the heart’s congested highway.

This road-trip we’ve agreed to take blind makes electronic maps curl.

We can’t stop napping behind the wheel. Country, your landscape is an

unmentionable. The way I look at you undressing in the hotel room is

unconstitutional. You, disconnected telephone. Remember when

thought bubbles were only for cartoons. What happens now, when I

can see how whitely you don’t dream of me. What do I do when my

thought bubble for you is empty. There are cartons of milk stacking up

on the stoop. How many animals can we seduce with the smell of

something dying. How much of the smell will not be us. You, cowl

neck. You, coward. You, wreck. We’ve been driving years towards the

same impossible flat line. We’ve been robbing the pincushion of its

tender moments. I talked through dinner about the way certain animals

hate the cold. You, dumb button. You, drunk alphabet. When I tell

you about something dying, I’m reading from the very middle of myself.

Whether we crash the car or make it up the icy mountain, you are trying

to fold the map into a shape it cannot make, you are licking your chops

for a game of charades. When I guess hungry, killer, wolf you say yes and

no to all three. At the intersection of memory and the future, you are

dumb, perfectly.


MEGHAN PRIVITELLO is a poet living in NJ where she has completed her first manuscript, A New Language for Falling out of Love. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sixth FinchThe New Megaphone, RedividerBarn Owl Review, Bat City Review, Salt Hill, Columbia Poetry Review, Linebreak, Quarterly West, Best New Poets 2012 and elsewhere. You can follow her on twitter @meghanpriv.