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Monday, April 10, 2017


by Megan Merchant 

High speed flash bird flight photo by R. W. Scott via Pinterest

How terrible it is to pretend
that god has a hand in it,

that he built windows into the river,

that the man I lay with is his image,
hums divine,

and that the smallest deaths
are trade-ups—

child-soldiers for his army,
collecting their milk-teeth in a jar.

I wake to the news of bombs,
and a flight of cardinals

from my window that sees
only miles into the world—

their red breasts choking the light.

I have to imagine that his hands
shook at the bomb’s final inspection,

frayed one of the wires, so that
it stunted, landing as an ache,

and not a shattering.

But also that he cursed the blessing
of foresight,

the all-knowing ruin
that no one saw coming,

soundless as a wintered sun.

Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ.  She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016 Best Book Award), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Prize, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a forthcoming children’s book with Philomel Books. She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera, the Poet Laureate of the United States.