Two Poems By Megan Amram

by Mark Bibbins, Editor


Red wine, the cure for common sobriety — 
dizzy tea, sweet like molten meat — is just as Jewish
as any rite, any tight briar of Hebrew letter, any fetter
of Israelite slave or Yid-friar. No one should build a pyramid
with a hangover, I think it’s written, but still that Jew-gang,
tendons stretched like strings of sitars, Seder-clenched their livers
at the green pea Nile, slurped purpled red wine,
clacked bricks, and acted Exodus, the awe, optic, the carafe,
Coptic; Pharaoh punch-drunk, Hieroglyphic-fistic.
Six thousand years later, my Semitic clan unfurls,
cousin to cousin, to swat about a dozen pecks of Exodus lexis.
No taupe grape, either, for my smashed stock,
for my drunken kin who swirl the swill, fawn over Passover for
eight days, eight of their about-twenty-six thousand; six thousand
years later, the latent Seder just as filled with Jews, just as catered.
We live the Passover miracle of the ladled vine, the Passover
miracle of the fourth glass, and the greater miracle of the fifth.
My cup gripped in my Jew-paw like a bulb, ruddy filament fluming,
I truly believe Egypt was Elysian. I can hold my religion. Next to me,
unlike Aaron, Uncle Jacob, sloshed like Moses,
parts the Red Sea over and over again in his glass.

Abraham Lincoln Decides Against “Count Lincula”

That’s just perfect, I thought, the ingredients
In order and the sketch of Lincoln for the box with one thumb up
And the other hand signing the word “Illinois” and a neon American flag bow tie.
Ready to print. The verdant bubble writing, occidental, turbo curve.
A house divided. There, the sparkling cinnamon, in the divided house.

The moments of emergency and the novelty of the name
Lincoln O’s gave him egregious heartburn for a month.
This was not the Abraham I knew. Where was the moral giant
Swaying like a uvula? The glitzy example of disease? Equipped

With mangy aphasia, Abe had bent over his apolitical writing desk
For weeks with slates of oats and four types of humours. His recipe deadline
Was in February and strict and clammy as seashell, the Cereal Bosses called
On him nightly until one died of a blood disease. Where that one fell

Four more filled the puckering void, and I could count the days since
The ample hydraulics of Abraham Lincoln had clenched
To orate. Isomer Lincoln arranged the wheat from most puce to least.
From yaw to pitch to punch.

Megan Amram is a recent graduate of Harvard University and comedy writer living in Los Angeles.

O, poems, poems, poems/we made them out of clay/and if you want more poems/The Poetry Section’s vast archive is this way.

You may contact the editor at