by Meghan Sterling

All the men I pass, in their cars, in shops, are mine.

            The streets teeming with them, their fur, their wit’s end.

How everyone is a piece of a man

            I’ve known before. How they still move

through me, small bits caught in my net—

            a screen, a sieve. I make a mosaic of them,

the detritus left arranged on a mat to catch the light

            with the sky so high and blue today it is singing.

Today, men are wind chimes, men are cars wheeling

            through the snow while cold air rushes off the snowfall

in an effort to hold everything back from falling.

            Today, men are toy towers, are lampposts.

The man across the street shrugs his mornings

            loosely, shovels himself out. The ice a mirror cast

like a tie slung around his neck. The man my father,

            wearing his mornings like a navy suit.

The man my mother, wearing her anger

            like a bold red lip. Even in clothes, the men are naked.

Even in women. You can see them in their houses at night—

            circling each other like tigers, sitting at their tables,

lying on their couches, crouching below the window sills.

            You can see the way winter moves between them,

The way they claw the walls.

Meghan Sterling is Associate Poetry Editor of the Maine Review and was winner of Sweet Literary’s 2021 annual poetry contest. Her collection These Few Seeds is out now from Terrapin Books. Read her work at