Three Poems by Megan Denese Mealor

These three poems by Megan Denese Mealor are stories of beauty, tragedy, apathy, remorse, and shame — the black pearl within us all…

by: Megan Denese Mealor

A Bathing Beauty

Marvel Rea never stood a chance,
not against the goons in the garnet truck,
her glassy gypsy oxfords clacking along 
a murky sidewalk to pitiless echoes, 
her sculptured sandy spiral curls
abstracting the sullen starlight 
scattered along Compton Avenue
like shanghaied strawberry quartz.
Her French Language cologne
still cloisters the eucalyptus grove 
where her dainty two-reel bones 
performed their final curtsy 
that orthochromatic waning.
Unpolishing Black Pearls

It is a sundance Sunday 
and I am penning a poem— 
well, trying to craft any ditty.
All I can unearth to evoke
is the euphoric screech of my son
as he unspools mid-air,
crashing back down on the 
silent mini trampoline 
with a nimble groove.

It’s his spring break from school;
his reduced teacher crammed 
Spring Mix Jelly Bellies
into his Sideshow Bob backpack
along with a bashful post-It
cramped with timid scribbling
letting me know that my son
may be the best and only reader
in that entire class of nine,
but he also refuses the potty
and can’t comprehend silverware.

There was a chili-red A-B Honor Roll ribbon
taped to his spiral Goofy notepad,
so I considered the matter a wash
and rewarded my disorderly son
with a McDonald’s plush tiki Stitch.
He cherished it for three exultant minutes
before suavely dumping his untasted 
nuggets, French fries, and apple slices 
into the overworked trashcan.

As I browse the grubby window,
a garish group of skeletal girls
donning lace-up ruffled eyelet
cruise by like emperor angelfish, 
punctuating and escalating.
Their earrings are glued together
with neon-spirited feathers that 
shiver in the tower slide breeze.

One of the femmes, glossy-browed,
a sable-skinned Lady Macbeth,
has embraced her dynamic hips
and lets her boyfriend jeans 
downslide past her ass crack,
thong-less and howling.

Another gamine’s corkscrews 
stem gold metal alloy,
shameless at the roots, 
more unreliable every daybreak.

They gang up around the sundown swings,
fists bundled in corset hoodie sleeves
as the chestnut leaves quarrel
about the politics of windstorms.

My son pushes his snoopy little face 
beside mine, our Majorelle-eyed mirages 
running wild in the unkempt window. 

With a cherub’s split-second fickleness,
my undone blonde son lifts his hopeful hand
to wave devoutly at the wannabe pin-up waifs
raining together at the swampy playground,
sassy and seraphic sunlight 
conscious in his sinless sentiment.

My pecan pie son’s nuclear carnival 
tinges my every present poem,
its own retrograde circle of milk— 
even the overcast pieces I carve around zodiac.

The jittery crop-top nymphs depart 
to lazily rummage the boneless block 
where shotgun houses are powered 
with warm white snowflakes yearlong,
ruptured porches fawning with threadbare bucks 
in French Crop hairdos, Pumas sporting fat laces,
off-the-peg hemp pendants exploiting 
lemon sharks’ forfeited fangs.

My son is boogieing to the beat 
of a granular Iron Maiden video
in his markdown Odie socks,
swiping sips of my diluted Sprite
between ruffly, contemptuous solos.
This poem will be densely distorted,
will forget to underline aftermaths,
will decline to reinvent rainbows.

But right now, my son is pointing to 
the mango pudding, 
giggling and unbending.

I abstractedly persuade myself that 
the cherry blossom sky is mobbed with pollen 
and those weatherless maidens 
were never, ever damsels, anyway.

My out-of-date cousin surfaced twenty minutes late
at Grammy’s eleventh-hour graveside service,
enrobed in off-the-shoulder bubblegum, ruffles on her biceps,
caustic aquatic notes scalding my whimpering eyes.
Her faux mink lashes were uncoordinated, thickset,
like jumping spiders grasping hopeless prey.

She ankled up, barn-red comma heels drowning 
in the showered Civil War cemetery grass,
chugging a coffin nail braided with marijuana
like she was depleting a Corpse Reviver #2
under the layer rays of a chichi Reno lounge.

Grammy’s seed pearl rope convulsed against 
that jutting collarbone, ruby halo ring detonating 
her pink taffy bandbox manicure, rawboned wrist
overburdened with Bakelite bangles, 
a sterling bookchain panel wristlet,
the copper leaf Bell Trading Post clamper 
imparted to Grammy from my hangdog father
on her ninety-second anniversary 
at the service-enriched housing high-rise 
where her hummingbird-lit hobby loft 
was congested with metallic flamingo balloons,
Black-Eyed Susans and Blue-Eyed Grass 
in canary crystal vases camouflaging the chaos of stems.

My cousin, now perched like Lana Turner 
in a church-rented back row metal chair,
never bothered materializing at that final bash,
although my aunt, her incurable mother, bribed her 
to sign a pastel ice cream cones card stating
“You are the Mona Lisa in my life”
and taped it to a recycled cardboard gift bag
stifling floating Butterscotch Brulee candles
and a lacquered little handbook on origami.

I wonder now if Grammy can finally see through
my cousin’s ostentation, if she still considers 
my cousin the front runner, if she now regrets
that red-eyed Christmas when she gifted my cousin
a laser-cut dollhouse (picket fence, plywood chimney)
and me a reborn vinyl doll with a simulated heartbeat
that stopped functioning on the nine-hour junket home.

Megan Denese Mealor resides in her native land of Jacksonville, Florida. A survivor of bipolar disorder, she incorporates her kaleidoscopic emotions into her writing. Her poetry and fiction have been featured in literary journals worldwide, most recently Eunoia Review, Blue Lake Review, Penumbric, Bewildering Stories, and The Stray Branch. Nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, Megan has authored three full-length poetry collections: “Bipolar Lexicon” (Unsolicited Press, 2018), “Blatherskite” (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, 2019), and “A Mourning Dove’s Wishbone” (in the works). Megan is currently studying English at the University of North Florida while caring for her autistic son. She and her husband Tony, son Jesse, and three mollycoddled cats occupy a cavernous, yet cozy townhouse ornamented with vintage ads for Victorian inventions. 

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