Megan Pinto

Genesis and The Anonymous City
May 26, 2022 Pinto Megan



God made the world with his mouth.
He spoke, and the heavens appeared.

Imagine a room with no windows
or doors (Once, trapped on elevator in Paris,

far away from everyone who knew
my name, I was free

to be anyone. I spoke
and nothing appeared. . .).

Even before a sun there was light,
God smiled and his teeth


gave off an ethereal glow.  There are places

I can’t go, like the deep sea, where I could

not watch a bathynomus giganteus
emit its light. There are things I cannot say

like how the dinoflagellate who fornicate
relate to the dinoflagellate

who keep dividing themselves into two.


All power is a kind of force.

My father tells me when he was a child
he was bad. Nuns beat his wrists and slapped

his hands with sticks. Sometimes his pinkie
will not fully flex. When my father calls these days,

I do not know what to say, but I stay
on the phone and we breathe.

He tells me you know, I hate hanging up the phone. 
Whenever I do, I’m alone.



The Anonymous City


Little fire, small flame. He tugs at the belt loop of my jeans. We let our bodies sway. I live in a dining room on Lorimer Street a naked bulb dangling over me, my futon, my mismatched  sheets– I am love’s reckless student. I take copious notes. Listening to my roommate and her boyfriend fuck, I would open my window if I had one. But in a hotel bar, beneath my hotel room, I could be anyone. I say things to my bartender like you missed me, and we laugh and take shots and he grazes my hand. In hotels, I rest soundly, eating pre-packaged snacks, drinking small bottles of wine. All my life, I wanted to be close. Closeness, a dance the Hudson makes with the shore. I waitress at a seaside cafe–the kind where my manager applies more blush to my face, sharpens a red pencil for my smile. When I left home, wanting only nights where the night didn’t ends, to pass among bodies in the dark, to feel the love of sleepless hands. . .


It’s 4:00 am on the Q train when a man shows me his dick.
The cover of night is sleep. To be awake
is to be seen. I ball my fists
into my chest.

O my heart, my dove!

Who will love
you forever as you are?


Megan Pinto’s poems can be found or are forthcoming in Guernica, The Massachusetts Review, Hyphen Magazine, Plume, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf, the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson.