Two Poems: Zeta & At Least My Pride Is Shrinking

Meredith DeLong


I am in the eye of a hurricane.

I am inside my home, admittedly. 
I could pull more poetry from hissing winds
if I were out, but unfortunately I value my life
marginally more than I do poetry,
should one consider those two separate ideas.

A glance to the window shows an 
orange-tinted sky, almost peach, like
the sepia filters of Hollywood films
set in Mexico or a mosquito’s
humid view from an amber grave.
A sauntering breeze doesn’t betray
the stillness, only amplifies it.
Silhouetted branches 
Demand entry to the glass.

The apartment is a shadow,
my flashlight an extension of my palm,
its brilliance briefly rubbing,
like a gum eraser on charcoal,
away the dark at long angles.

At times like this I have a strange 
relationship with mirrors.
Each time I pass one I either 
deliberately avoid it
while pretending otherwise,
or look straight into the mirror,
into the land of my foreign self,
daring the monsters—
the hundred-limbed beasts or
gaunt-faced gaping figures or
the self—to meet my eye.
Only one ever does.

The bated calm passes fast;
rain hurries to greet us,
or maybe we’re the ones moving,
Dorothy’s house in the tornado,
and in the morning I’ll step out to find a plane of 
pallid grass that crunches beneath my feet
until I meet a golden road.

I wonder how big someone has to be
For their eye to dwarf a cityscape.
Do they blink away or hover, challenging,
At the thought of my gaze? How large
Their hands must be. 
Is the sun their flashlight?
Do the politics of stars plague their mind
While they wait for a hurricane 
To end?

At Least My Pride Is Shrinking

My heart is growing bigger than my head,
pushing the confines of my ribcage,
the fidgety, thumb-twiddling doctor said.

Symptoms first showed after I read 
a story where the hero dies on the last page.
My heart is growing bigger than my head,

straining my solar plexus and spread-
ing like vines through veins. I can’t disengage.
The ever kind but hurried doctor said

to stop rewriting my will, no planning ahead,
just have some fun - but by this stage
my heart is growing bigger than my head.

Please just miss me a little when I’m dead. 
This runs in our family alongside pent up rage,
the exasperated, on-edge doctor said.

My chest is ripping, brain’s a haze of red,
like I’m not the actor, I’m just sitting backstage.
My heart is growing bigger than my head,
the tired-of-me doctor said.