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June 18, 2021

Two Poems

Megan J. Arlett


Always the same time of day on this moon, I take
one small step for Megan, one giant leap 
for Megankind. Houston, Houston, I’m snaking
Cape Canaveral footprints through these streets,
these wide, white aisles, these fluorescent
tiles. I want to buy a horse. I want a tiger print
umbrella. I want slippers with Joe Exotic’s mullet
cast in polyester across my toes. I’ve heard it 
said: America is the world’s Florida. But
maybe that’s unfair to Florida. In Miami,
I was just a different tone of foreign. Few whipped
their heads off their hinges towards my voice. See, I
Buzz and Neil as well as any American can.
From aisle five, I take a flag to stake the sand. 



It’s not every weekend I put multiple heads between my legs,
but the trick to the best Mardi Gras beads is altitude, sitting high

on other people’s shoulders. Beads like purple pomegranates
split open, like gallbladders chocka full

of stones. Paul wants to get me a Zulu coconut
but, he says, you’re white and not even the cute, blonde kind.

Still, I’m floated up a full man’s height above the carnival’s
mulch floor and all the things I’ve heard about hordes are bad

except here where the throng of drunkenness by my feet
comes together with a singular goal, yelling

with me as the parade rolls by. And everyone is hands. 
Jazz air, beer breath. When can I make out with Bacchus? 

I need a shit-tonne of beautiful shit to take home: 
a light-up plastic sword, a glittered shoe. A Nalgene

can hold a whole bottle of champagne with enough room
for orange juice to pass for a mimosa. Throw me something

mysterious. Throw me something 
so tacky I’ll wonder why I screamed myself hoarse. 

Once I’m home, weighed down by day drinking and beads,
there’ll still be a drumline somewhere. 

Press your ear to my chest and listen.