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Thursday, January 12, 2017


by Megan Merchant 

Cartoon by Pat Bagley 

I’m sorry America, please have a seat.
By popular vote we are going to remove

your third rib
without a plan for replacement.

You should pray,
or at least mutter something biblical near a statue.

We are going to snipe the surgeon and replace
him with the homeless man

who is stationed by the automatic door
with his styrofoam cup, tipped with whiskey.

He has seen so many injured and sick welcomed
under the florescent lights that he must

be deft at holding a knife, understand how
to point the sharp edge away.

This is a beautiful approach, believe me,
do not underestimate periphery experience,

it is so close to precision, you won’t even know.

Megan Merchant is mostly forthcoming. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016 Book of the Year), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Prize, Glass Lyre Press, forthcoming 2017), four chapbooks, and a children’s book with Philomel Books.