|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,
and that the smallest deaths
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
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.