The Tower Journal

Meg Harris


When crazy was a baby her remarkable
eyes were innocent pools of dark amber
she toddled late and waddled
into mind reads and night voices. When
crazy couldn't sleep, her hair a mess
of mad curls, it was the night terrors
and the med vacations and whether
some person held her in that private
way, we could not say. In school
she had imagined friends and bullies
couldn't resist her. We puzzled
was this deficit of attention? Or something
on the continuum? We were unaware
of the unborn demon not yet medicated
into submission that green-eyed angel
of a monster. When crazy was an acne-ed
adolescent there was not enough ice
cream to fill that boiling belly, not enough
celebrity to equal infamy. In any thunderstorm,
real or imaginary, the heart might move to quickening.
When crazy went away to school we almost
saw the trail of stars in her footsteps we
were almost able to seize the light shards
before they stuck their mark.

To the drunk lady in the black & white photo, in this bar, 71 years ago

I am the archeologist and I’m here to tell you that
nothing’s changed. Oh they painted the place a few

times and vodka isn’t the thing anymore but the walk
back to the cottage in the moon light is the same and

as drunk as you get you still can’t touch that sepia place
that was your target. And so, I lift my glass to you, with

the same men in the self-same place pouring another
shot of whisky. In the silence I hear the echo of your

pretty drunken smile. Foremother, I wear an earring
found on this dirty beer garden floor, my latest dig.

Yours, my Lucy? You the forgotten princess of a
liquid empire in my open tomb. Pour another

libation to the fireflies, the night runneth over.


Some things I like for the
language of them:
Plant cell division
for xylem and phloem.
Catholicism for
extreme unction,
limbo, purgatory,
and Sister Mary Pious.

I could love a human for
vascular and cranium.
And though portent of trouble,
free radical begs affection,
like James Dean
with a cigarette.

It’s why I’m a philatelist
so I can say that word.

Copyright © 2014 Meg Harris

Meg HarrisMeg Harris is a writer and a teacher. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Meg teaches literature, writing, and critical thinking. Her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in both print and online literary journals: Whiskey Island, The Cafe Review, Upstreet, and others. Her chapbook of poems, Inquiry into Loneliness is forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press this year. Meg lives in New England sometimes and sometimes she lives on Cottage Lane. She enjoys collecting antiques, painting and photography.

The Tower Journal
Spring/Summer 2014