Methylphenidate is the name I use

To lull my child to sleep,

Swaddling her diaper rash in vinyl chloride.

I haven’t slept in days but no matter, red eyes

they suit me like latex gloves.


[What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Or else,
The pricks of a thousand chemicals
grow you new tumor friends
to show your family and coworkers.]


Paraben is the name I write on my mailbox

to ensure everyone knows not to write.

I’m not home, but I am

Inhabiting the home.

Breathing in lingering Febreeze fumes,

my mouth pressed against the armchair arm.

While the baby’s red mouth squalls.


Hetrocyclic amine is the name I say

on my child’s first birthday,

to call her out from hiding under the stairs.

I wrap my arm around her chest

and urge her to pet the neighbor’s snarling dog.

While his wife frosts a high fructose cake

and counts out Styrofoam plates.  


Meagan Maguire

Meagan Maguire is a 22 year old poet living and occasionally working in Portland, Maine. She enjoys reading, running, and informing people there actually is another Portland besides the one in Oregon. Previously her work has been featured or will be featured in The Alarmist, The Golden Sparrow Literary Review, The Eunoia Review, Words & Images, and Marco Polo Arts Mag.

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