Io Takes Refuge in Upstate New York by Jennifer A. McGowan

Io Takes Refuge in Upstate New York

The sharp bass shock
of a loose shutter. The train whistle
of the eaves. Nesting, a quivering blackbird
in a draughty corner of an attic,
I dream of warmth.

I think this land is as far beyond gods
as a god’s lust is beyond reason.
Certainly the pale people here
take this apocalypse calmly, when at home
priests would sacrifice anything on four legs, maybe even slaves.
(Which I’ve not seen.) When dark fell
I saw no chariot
dragging the dark curtain of the night.

So maybe I’m safe. And yet
some shrill, small part of me
won’t let me sleep. I stare restless
into the storm while outside
the hard, bright snow describes the shape of the wind.


Jennifer A. McGowan obtained her PhD from the University of Wales.  Despite being certified as disabled at age 16,  she has published poetry and prose in many magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Rialto and The Connecticut Review.  Her chapbooks are available from Finishing Line Press, and her first collection is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing. Her website can be found at

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