Two poems – Megan Merchant

Megan Merchant

How to Grow a Broken Spine

He calls it/kisses it—
the small of my back,

the peach-soft
lean
along
my spine,

the blown-glass
curve
that cases
the filament
of spindled nerves—

how hot
the tungsten
that nearly
burns

before the
light
gleams
visible.

His hands
share the same
palm-curve,

and when pressed
firm as a book
of prayers,
holds
a gap,

a secret
crooked
under a tongue

that proves
we are each
and each
a body,

a garden
to be ironed
smooth
by rain.

When I was young
I was told
this is how
god put me
together—

sacral arc,

made to feel small
as a woodland creature
in a flood,

a hairpin turn
always leaning into dark.

Easter Sunday

I pull petals and near-dead
leaves littering branches—

leftovers
from winter’s dumb
tomb,

slip them into condoms,
string them high

for the light,
mouths open

waiting to be
blessed by rain.

The spring air
along my skin—

thin as a scrape.

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