by Megan Snyder-Camp

Megan Snyder-Camp

The first person in recorded history
struck by a comet slept on her couch
across the road from the Comet Drive-In

and the comet found her roof, her sadness, her knee,
and woke her. Everything that hurts

hurt before, she said. Showing at the drive-in, a documentary
on tightrope-walking: a young man frustrated
that his dream, the World Trade Center, was not yet built

so he practiced for years in a meadow crossing intended sky, intent
like a pillowcase sweetening him, no harm . . . Here

let the towers go, let them write his crossing, cursive, back and forth

his name steadying our tongues . . . Famous, overcoat
floating down without him, the idea that we stand

where we mean to stand, 1974, a distraction

from my parents’ morning commute. At 59th Street they split.
The poems I was writing were no longer poems of their divorce,

my father’s sweeping gestures or his pain, the old Volkswagen
and garden hose—all of that had washed from my poems

and instead an imaginary family arrived in borrowed gardens,
their son stillborn—even as I grew heavy with my own son
I wrote poem after poem holding this imagined horror close.

Last updated September 24, 2022