Meghan Privitello



Let’s begin with the tongue, 

the laps it runs around its I wants 

until desire is a pudding. 

Oklahoma has a handle on itself. 

I have an anal complex. 

Birds will never remember my face. 

A paper crane is lucky 

because it will never question 

the way it was made. 

We are less human than elephants. 

They are not ashamed of their grieving. 

A photograph of a man screaming is edible. 

It will taste like whatever sugar the guts make.

The hands are given all the credit for creation. 

We forget about ovens, printers, the autism scale. 

My breast is a megaphone, your mouth is a mouth. 

You don’t say anything useful about my body 

and the world cries for that. 

Colorado is where people go to get lonely. 

God is where people go to get lonely. 

They are both thin atmosphere and bad bread. 

If I get horny when I’m dying, 

call it The New Testament. 

If I clam up, call it The Old. 

The tongue rolls its r’s 

until language becomes pebbles. 

God puts his mouth in my pants.

He says terror, mirror, error 

until I become a mountain. 

In my wilderness, God builds fires. 

He reads the labels of canned goods 

like a summons. 

He doesn’t know if he is real 

until a likeness of his pitiful body 

slowly announces itself 

like antlers out of the fog.

Meghan Privitello is the author of A New Language for Falling Out of Love (YesYes Books, 2015) and Notes on the End of the World (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). Work has appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, Gulf Coast, Best New Poets, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poets for the Next Generation & elsewhere. She is the recipient of a NJ State Council of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.