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Two Poems

By Justin Morgan



ARCHAEOLOGY


When I am dead

they will excavate


the rooms of my house

to unearth me in an artifact


in fingerprints still intact

on a pair of goggles,


a box of LPs,

a game of Scrabble


on a closet shelf.

They’ll find a bit of DNA


on a Bible & an old guitar,

a strand of hair


on a flannel shirt.

But then they’ll discover


my retainers & wonder

if I wore them all my life


out of fear or duty

& if they were ever properly cleaned


given their crusty wires.

They’ll question their age


& how long their little yellow case

sat beside the sink. They’ll calculate


dimensions to measure the decibels

of the lisp the thick palate


gave my tongue,

guess & conjecture


all sorts of theories

& come up still empty.


Nevertheless, they will know

with absolute certainty


that I had lived, & died,

with beautiful, straight teeth.




THE WINDMILLS OF MYKONOS


From my little table

at the cocktail bar,

I wonder what it must’ve been like

all those years ago

when they were still in the business

of bread-making—


to see their twelve wooden blades

circling round & round,

their millstones grinding wheat & barley

while women on rooftops

hang clothes on a line

& fishermen eat oysters

by the water’s edge.


Now, four centuries later,

tourists in their sun hats & khakis

encircle them like ants around a sugar cube,

taking selfies beside their quiet, white-washed bellies.


The waitress refills my glass

& asks where I’m from,

& I tell her Virginia, which,

ironically, is also her name,

her father once a bishop

in a town just south of Richmond.


And as she turns away

I grin at the memory

of how from the pulpit of my sailboat

a few hours earlier

I saw them standing atop the hill

like fat little monks,

white-robed, scalp-shaven,

chanting hymns to God in heaven

of how everything is praise—

the salt, the lobsters,

the pebbles in the sand—

yes, even those five old windmills

like clergymen cloistered above the Aegean,

officiating the marriage

of the sky & sea.






Justin Morgan teaches at Central Virginia Community College and is working on an MFA in Writing at Lindenwood University. His work has appeared in Eleutheria, Revolute, LAMP, and other journals. He lives in Lynchburg, VA, with his wife and three kids.

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