Winner of the February 2018 Poem of the Month Contest, Meg Freer

Every month, Cosmographia partners with to publish a "transcendent" poem plus a $50 award.

Meg Freer grew up in Montana and now lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario, where she teaches piano and enjoys running and photography. She began writing poetry recently, and her photos and poems have won awards both in North America and overseas and have been published in chapbook anthologies and in both print and online journals. In 2017 she won a fellowship and attended the Summer Literary Seminars in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.

Room 19

by Meg Freer

They still slice brains at the Moscow Brain Institute with the same hand-cranked deli meat-slicer, which carves genius into thin memories and past sins that could flutter to the floor from careless fingers. Brains marinate in formaldehyde inside flowered borscht pots while history’s great minds rest in glass cases.

31,000 slivers of flesh mounted on glass, stored behind three reinforced, alarmed doors. 14 green leather-bound volumes, embossed with five letters: L-E-N-I-N. What used to be a state secret is no longer.

These books transcribe the territorial map of Lenin’s brain: 31,000 snapshots of each decision, good or bad, each strength, each weakness exposed slice by slice.

As we watch icebergs calve I think of the cow made of ice in Norse myth who nourished primeval Ymir with her milk. The calves birthed today are blue and translucent as premature babies who cannot survive.

-read the whole poem at

To submit to the Poem of the Month contest:

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