Two Poems by David Meischen
Waterside at Mueller Lake Park
Mallards bloom beside the reeds this morning
while here along the trail, among the complicit
shrubs, the butterflies smuggle pollen, and
petals recall the shapes that bind us to them.
A single drake wishes loudly for a cap less fraught
with sheen—no creature wants such beauty, such
attention. Better to serve unnoticed
like the breeze I feel behind me pouring
its whispered refrain into a trembling sky
while beyond the lake—wisps of dust furling,
unfurling—solitude sweeps the pathway clean.
Afterward, the Valkyries feasted, ravens tethered
to a chassis abandoned on the riddled earthwork.
Beneath the oaks, gut-shot conscripts, thirsting,
shadows heavy with heat, cicadas winding up
like castanets and grief not coming in on cue:
no strings, no reeds, no tympani or brass to build
and bleed—this harvest done, the young men dead
and gone. A stillness of stopped hearts. Hunger.
The taste of fatted flesh. Frangipane, cigarettes,
brandy. What each wants last: the afterbone.
- "Dux" © Awesome Joolie; Creative Commons license.
David Meischen has recent poems in Borderlands, San Pedro River Review, Southern Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His essay, "How to Shoot at Someone Who Outdrew You," has been selected for Pushcart Prize XLII. Co-founder of Dos Gatos Press and co-editor of Wingbeats and Wingbeats II, Meischen is also a fiction writer, with recent work in the Evansville Review, Gettysburg Review, and Valparaiso Fiction Review.
His first published short story appeared in Talking Writing; his story “Agua Dulce” won the 2012 Talking Writing Prize for Short Fiction.
Learn more about David Meischen at his website, Meischen Ink.