Megan J. Arlett
LOUISIANA SATURDAY NIGHTS
by Megan J. Arlett
After the party in the sketchy green apartment building called home,
we found car keys but no owner or car. All the beer pong balls
had rolled into the same corner. Cat from the downstairs apartment
round and sweet as a cinnamon roll on my pillow. Lillian asleep
like a corpse in the tub, twitching her dreamy paws.
Sticky floors. Empty
kegs. Climbed up through the hatch to the flat gravel roof
to check for any stray freshmen curled up like embryos.
We party as hard as we work. 5:30 alarms
Monday through Friday to meet down at the dock.
Lift fiberglass shells over our heads and onto the water.
The best parts of rowing are all the parts when we’re not.
All I want to do is have some puns. All I want to do is rabble
rouse my friends from their beds and lead
our sleepy conga line to $10 all-you-can-eat sushi. They call us
the cheapest co-ed frat on campus because one time we drew
a map of eskimo brothers and sisters in the shape of a tumbleweed
and all it cost was some dignity. Trust me,
I peer pressured the two thirds water of my body into this mess
and I’ll peer pressure it back out.
LOUISIANA SUNDAY MORNINGS
by Megan J. Arlett
Too early for anything but palm-cupped sighs, morning fell through
the cabin windows. The wreckage of card games,
the radio still tuned to a station full to the brim with trucks
and girls. I rub away the crystals gifted by the night
to my eyes. Last night, the alligator flesh
fresh and divine on the grill, the deer
shot the month before in Texas.
The here, the there, the then, the now.
All the sleepy bodies strewn across sofas
and beds. The desperate beating
bayou reflecting the canopy
into a kind of darkness.
Trees towering and plunging, a land without digging.
And the beer cans crushed by his feet on the porch
like autumn’s litter. Soft liftoff
from behind the cypress, a crane rising.
Megan J. Arlett was born in the UK, grew up in Spain, and now lives in Texas where she is pursuing her PhD. The recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2019, Best New British and Irish Poets, The Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, and Third Coast.