The 2River View 20.1 (Fall 2015)

Meaghan Quinn

When Youth was Still Infinite

I think of the best of times
when we started each morning
by cooking pancakes on a griddle,
warm globs that popped and jittered.
The butter was sweet, all unbitter.
Recalled to life, we spooned
and silence broke like a dam,
lingered into the back rooms
of Budapest, the salt lakes we swam.
Your hot clammy breath on my neck—
pretzel-legged, barracudas
darted through our knees.
Your crimped hair blew
like burning forsythias.
Choppy waves. High tide.
The sun failed like a searchlight
as we undressed in an August night. 
Our shaking hearts fell still.
Steam drummed off the tar,
dried syrup made our lips stick.
You caught the moon running
from the tap with your mouth. 


I’ve never heard anything louder
than the prolonged ceremony of hope
scraping out a short snipped straw.
When I was white and waiting
to cop, when I felt arms around
me even after she had walked
into the other room, when I lied
to myself, when we're all lying
to ourselves really, when I pulled
up my skirt and let the whole
world see me, the ceremony of doubt
unshrouding before me, in whose eyes
did I go unseen?

Meaghan Quinn lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she teaches creative writing. She is working on her first manuscript and currently serves as the Associate Poetry Editor of The Tishman Review. Her poems have been published in Adrienne, The Free State Review, and Triggerfish Critical Review. contact

« Erin Pringle-Toungate Betsy Fogleman Tigue »