PUBLIC WORKS

On the first day the pale blood,

the signal fire.

The next day giant snails

 

descend on Florida to mate

by the thousands.

If you have ever seen them at it,

 

the iridescent twist and release,

you won't wonder

that they're drawn to me.

 

On the third day we must ask

what matters more—

Beauty or the Public Good.

 

I say let the world glisten in

the aftersex 

of snails. If you break your neck

 

I'll heal you

and each of your subordinates

slowly in my lap.


Meghan Maguire Dahn’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Iowa Review on-line, Cincinnati Review, Horsethief, Bennington Review, Blunderbuss, The Journal, Poetry Northwest, Phantom Limb, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among others. She was a winner of the 2014 Discovery/92nd Street Y Poetry Prize.  She grew up in the woods and lives steps from Manhattan’s only forest.