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Thursday, October 05, 2017


by Megan Merchant 

Three days later my husband is on his way
home from Vegas. I stop to buy bourbon, the expensive kind,

as if this is just a movie and I can pour it into the wound
to keep it from spreading. I sketch words to avoid using—

blood, gun, bodies until there is at least a scab,
and the grip of nightmares have lost their choke-hold.

I ask the guy which kind packs the most punch, hearing again
my husband’s voice breaking into tears, worried he did not do enough.

Bulleit, his says, without wincing, the shelf stocked full enough to sterilize
any feeling, to stupor any change.

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.