Game Day | by Megan Burns

what are you laying down for
like love/ like you yell/ like you screaming
like silence/ charades your body on fire
and no one can guess your words/ like love
like Candyland where there’s no skill to sweetly
barter/ jump & slick/ ride me down/ i buck
& thick headed/ want you to name me first
like possessed, king me/ motherfucker/ king me
i took all your pawns/ your queen was in distress
like what are you laying down/ flip bones on the sidewalk
cash strapped/ ball spinning/ what runs in your veins
bet against/ like straight wild Aces/ my horses
tawny coat of familiars/ flanked, you beat me
till muscles softened/ till what was hard became
pliable/ like love/ what are you doing/ gun
to the back of my head/ & i said i bet my life on you
not knowing how much life could be left
after debting/ buy up property/ pass go/ & collect
collect warm bodies inside me/ collect the feel of your hands
around my throat/ & when you slapped me in the face
i came so hard/ i won/ all the way down/ i lay under
you/ the sky exploded/ like my mind/ in trivial pursuit
stalking you/ i want to own it/ i don’t want to pay rent
be put in jail/ i spelled trouble/ i licked the palm
of the hangman/ so he would turn the vowels
over to me/ i cheated at solitaire/ i was the queen
of spades/ an open hood of connected tiles/ not sorry
i crossed the board/ palmed the marble of your eyes
fit this heart shape with a crack in it/ so carefully
you didn’t flinch/ you didn’t even notice/ i had
plain tricked/ fixed partnerships/ disappeared
like what are you laying down to win me back



Megan Burns is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press ( She also hosts the Blood Jet Poetry Reading Series in New Orleans and is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival ( She has been most recently published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Dream Pop, and Diagram. Her poetry and prose reviews have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Gently Read Lit, Big Bridge, and Rain Taxi. She has three books: Memorial + Sight Lines (2008), Sound and Basin (2013) and Commitment (2015) published by Lavender Ink. She has three recent chapbooks: Dollbaby (Horseless Press, 2013), i always wanted to start over (Nous-Zot Press, 2014) and her Twin Peaks chap, Sleepwalk With Me (Horse Less Press, 2016). Her fourth collection, BASIC PROGRAMMING, was published by Lavender Ink in 2018.

twitter: @bloodjetpoetry


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