Meghan Vigeant

East Troy Street

Dad’s rusted two-door,

paint chipping hot sauce,

cooling on East Troy.


Houses and factories lean back

to back. A father and daughter,

linger on a sidewalk crack.


We tilt our eyes toward the sky

washed in interstate orange,

searching for stars we cannot find.


I saw so many, Meg,

he coughs and then spits,

Up in Canada, they covered the sky.


Bears and moose, too, endless

coolers of beer, his buddies,

their brotherhood, the giggles of loons


all doing their thing

to heal the chemical burn on his thigh,

the chronic bronchitis,


all making a mighty quiet

to drown the machines screaming.

Someday, wouldn’t it be something


to run a fishing camp up there,

up north in Ontario,

you and me, Megs?


How many dreams tumbled

from his lips

like lotto tickets from his glove box?


Just one.

Yeah, Dad. Sounds cool.

Someday, we’ll do it.


I only knew this one

spilling out from his lips

on East Troy.





She Writes The Kame Sutra

A woman who loves her husband

should always act in perfect obedience

to his wishes and desires

as if he were a kind of divine being.

She

is

a

household Goddess.

Try to stop her!


For as Gonardiya observes:

            Nothing

            makes her husband

            above her.

As soon as she hears her lord’s footsteps,

she must order his feet

to a feast or social gathering.

Go out with her!


She should always ask his permission first

to wake him

when he sleeps.


If her husband has been unfaithful,

the good wife should never blame

or scold him too bitterly,

no matter how angry she may

feel how much she has suffered,

and reproach him,

for as Gonardiya correctly observes:

            Women spy through the keyhole,

                  and flowers are cheap.


Cocks, cuckoos, monkeys

control the old servants,

but she must never give away

her husband.

She must never laugh loudly

with pleasure.


When her husband is away

she must not neglect her household tasks,

sleep near everything possible,

cherish her friends,

feast,

stay long,

increase business ventures,

and spend—

                  See how she has conducted herself.


Whether of a noble family,

a virgin widow,

or a concubine,

women who lead this kind of life,

win love, respect and gratitude.

-

[Author’s note: Erasure from “The Wife,” in Kama Sutra: The Hindu Ritual Of Love,

Complete and Unexpurgated. Castle Books, 1963.]

Meghan Vigeant writes and teaches creative writing, storytelling, and oral history. Her work has appeared in the Island Journal, FEM, Balancing Act 2, and Maine Boats, and has been featured on public radio and in podcasts. Vigeant was a Monson Arts resident and an Island Institute Fellow. She is the author of Guts, Feathers, and All: Stories of Hard Work and Good Times on Swan’s Island, Maine, published by Island Institute. Her MFA in creative nonfiction from Stonecoast is forthcoming in June 2020.

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