(of use) by Megan Merchant

I.

The nook
between clavicle and chin

that was a soft lure—

an empty cradle now,
a fled nest.

II.

My hair tines.
It specks with grey.

I fed the color
from my bones

first to one child,
then the next.

III.

My hands in the sugar,
my hands in the dough.

I am here to scrap
the rain
sweet,

to make use
of every drop,

to warm the dish,
clear the plate.

IV.

I dress invisible.

Men glance
shallow,
as if my body
pitted
after birth.

V.

I sigh
and sigh

and the houseplant
takes it all in.


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) and The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, 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. She is an Editor at The Comstock Review and you can find her work at meganmerchant.wix.com/poet.


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