Riddance by Megan Peak


a junkyard, a loose feather, relief. As in good—thank god
I’ve ditched this stark sepulchre for light. For life without
the slack rope, the habit of neglect, the same old elegy over

and over. This act of clearing—quarry in my chest tidied,
swept bare of stones. Parts of me have always been raised
for the slaughter: the sentimental bone, the common lust,

the Shangri-La La La still ringing in my head. For each lover
I’ve had, I call a detective. One finds my sad warehouse
with its cracked chandeliers and slab of wall showing slide

after slide of women who have long since bolted. Beautiful
women, reeled in sepia. This detective says to shut the whole
thing down, to stop committing crimes against the body, to shed

the idea that love is some great nidus, unless it starts with the self.
She says: let it start with the self. So I untie every knot in the place.
I start scrap heaps, build bonfires, junk the lot: the empty well,

my horrible want, the last bit of hail I saved from your yard,
and the cold around it.



Megan Peak is a graduate student in The Ohio State University’s MFA Program in Poetry. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in A cappella Zoo, Banango Street, The Boiler Journal, DIAGRAM, Four Way Review, PANK, Pleiades, Split Lip, and THRUSH Poetry Journal. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.