‘Neck Scarves’


For P. E.

Paula, whenever I see you you’re wearing that
    same lousy scarf

Even in July I see it religiously wrapped to hide
    the marks your father gave you

When I saw the picture of your house covered
​    in caution tape, I was on the other side of the
​    world in Japan for missions & when I told you
​    I was going you said, Oh that religious work

Why didn’t I tell you I hate religion too—it’s
​    funny how we always tell ourselves: next time

Remember, we used to bellydance in that
​    basement

The walls, bare except for that one framed picture
​    of Jesus

My father said only prostitutes shake their hips
​    like that & I was always jealous that your
​    father just watched us dance & smiled

Online, your sister said he cried I’m sorry, I’m
​    sorry
while slitting her throat with those box
​    cutters—almost as if she were a box that
​    needed to be opened quickly

Sometimes when I’m driving on campus I see
​    you & want to wave but I don’t

I know everyone wants to ask you questions but
​    you don’t have to tell me anything

Published in the June 16, 2017 issue: 

Meg Eden’s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland and is the author of four poetry chapbooks. Her novel Post-High School Reality Quest will be published in June by California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Check out her work at: www.megedenbooks.com.

Also by this author
Poem | Okinawa Aquarium

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads