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  • What Makes Elephants Sleep
  • Meaghan Quinn (bio)

You have been teaching her what it means to be thirsty.Thirsty like right after cumming when there is only milk.

On the floor you slurp cereal wearing only jean shorts.She sits close by slouching against the fridgefrightened by how much addiction has gutted you.

After the cereal you take a cold shower, spread outon the cool of the kitchen tile in front of a box fan.The fan oscillates slow as milk. Thistles of nipple hairwhirring. You smash your unholy face against the tiles.

When is it going to be over—you ask

When you decide to stop—she says

When is my heart going to slow down—you ask

When you get up off the floor—she says

You pick your chin up off the tiles.You can see the tan lines from where the sunhas stamped the bikini strings to her chest,an imprint over the small breasts you always fumblewith making your way back to in the dark.

When will I be iridescent—you ask [End Page 66]

In the morning—she says—in the morning

She never asks you why you take the same thingthey use at zoos to put elephants to sleep.

Keegan Hamilton, "Bad trip: Deadly elephant tranquilizer carfentanil is contaminating US heroin," Vice News, November 3, 2016: "Carfentanil, which zookeepers use to tranquilize elephants and other large mammals and was once used as a chemical weapon by Russia, is readily available for purchase online from manufacturers in China." [End Page 67]

Meaghan Quinn

Meaghan Quinn is an assistant poetry editor for the Tishman Review. She holds currently an mfa from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College and has studied at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She was nominated for Best New Poets and a Pushcart Prize and was a recipient of the Nancy Penn Hosenbeck Prize. her poems have been published in Portrait in Blues: An Anthology, Off the Coast, Heartwood, Triggerfish, Free State Review, and others.



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pp. 66-67
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