Author: Megan Martin

Megan Martin is the author of Sparrow & Other Eulogies (Gold Wake 2011). She lives in Cincinnati where she co-curates the Important People reading series.

City Armor & How You Get Love

City Armor

In the city, it was difficult to understand anything because I could not turn cartwheels. Even those bustling were dead-sedentary in their outfits. I wanted to stab those creased automaton outfits that all my friends wore so that there was no question of self-defense.

I move to the middle of nowhere where I watch death wrap around a tree and choke it. I watch my neighbor water flowers made of cloth. Across the street, drug dealers and their kids toss a rotten, dog-eaten red ball. Partly I moved to nowhere because a different species of drug dealers shot a bullet through a child’s bedroom window again.

In the city you have to stay moving on like a robot or an animal to keep up. My outfits were wind and tattered wrappers and newspapers because I could not afford outfits. They became a sort of armor that nobody stopped to read.

I cartwheel naked through nowhere’s rain: across fields and interstates until rain becomes my outfit. But despite my efforts I never do understand how to become rain, not even for a minute, not even when I cartwheel smack into this person I love.

How You Get Love

Love is a gruesome school of bass smoking cigars and dying. Did I mention the bass have breasts like soggy mountains?

I for one like to breakfast on serenades concocted in my honor, then, finding them below par, not-so-secretly spit them out in my lap.

At the garage sale, I set up shop as a witch proctor. Get a fluorescent bandeau or a freshly-sawn rabbit’s foot or a plane made of seaweed or a horny banshee. Get the most unreliable thing you can find and jack off all over it. That is how you get love.

I am telling you, it’s just what you’ve always needed, like how the moment the downstairs’ neighbors’ apartment started flooding, I needed a bath.

It should be clear by this point in the story how I am the most unreliable thing.

Watch me take like a tornado to your teapots. Watch me parade around town with your heart kabobbed on a stick.