A raven caws early, stimming on the thinnest branch. Wings flicker for balance
while the man in my bed thrums on about the faucet tink I haven’t yet fixed.
My hands—too cold against his skin, my hands at half-mast, throttled at a dumb-speed.
I think I have done right enough by walking into this strange house, taking my shoes
off at the door, but when I spread his thighs, he shifts over a litany of pleas—Cleft.
Raze. Furrow. Again, I am learning the language of a body, how to tend nerve
endings and howls that are trenched, when there is little care to translate my own.
After he rises, I hold my love-line to the window-light, its stammer, its breakage.
But the light is a trick played by a swarm of bees flickering yellow against the glass,
and this line is not love, just a snag glistening across my palm.
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), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (Philomel Books). She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera. She is an Editor at The Comstock Review and you can find her work at meganmerchant.wix.com.poet.