Jill Mceldowney

The Believing Brain

Today again
            there are meteor strikes

—before they were meteors they were someone’s city.
They were somebody else’s light.
They were the kiss that opens

I thought the earth owed me time,
to accept one loss before hitting me
with another.

I should’ve known—

real love is destructive.
Why must I
keep learning that some things can only be taught through pain?

Does the sky, after it’s come apart,
still search for love, still hold, or does it
say “Here is my grief
like it or not—”

            sometimes a woman falls from the sky.
How could I

to write to the living

            when what echoes the rock is deep time—
the things time killed mean
nothing to the looped reloop of thought.

I used to believe that there was something
the earth was trying to tell us—
            I thought I was owed that
at least—

as if the earth owes me anything at all.


Jill Mceldowney is the author of the chapbook Airs Above Ground (Finishing Line Press) as well as Kisses Over Babylon (dancing girl press). She is an editor and cofounder of Madhouse Press. Her previously published work can be found in journals such as Muzzle, Fugue, Vinyl, the Sonora Review and other notable publications.