|Featured Poet -
Meggie Royer is a writer and
photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in
Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared
in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole,
and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing
portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the
Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of
American Poets Student Poetry Prize.
(Originally published in The Harpoon Review)
She wonders if I’ll stay but doesn’t have the guts to ask,
watches me slip out of my skin at night and transform
into a ghost that only knows how to practice forgetting.
This is her curse: doomed to pluck the strings of the violin
growing inside her belly each evening
until the day when its scroll will break through her
and out into the morning air, alive.
She watches me drink and sometimes we kiss
when the absinthe has done its job
but mostly we know I spend the days
peeling cinnamon into a box of bone,
hoping for a miscarriage.
On Getting Drunk And Believing In Reincarnation
I’m thinking I want the remains of the eggshells you walked on
while trying not to crush them. I’m thinking I want your body,
sleepy and full of moonlight, the way in which a dead man
still craves his cigarettes.
Childhood was a boat I sailed on for years and years
without ever getting off. And there were always sharks
at the bottom of the ocean;
my father wouldn’t pull the anchor up and let us free.
Last night I pulled every bottle of wine
down from the cupboard and poured the tequila into one glass,
the zinfandel into a marmalade jar, the absinthe into a bowl.
Started myself out with a few shots
and progressed to a drinking game.
The goal was to down one
every time I thought of you.
I ended up hungover and miserable, and the bowl was licked
In Venezuela there is an ancient culture that prays
for the return of the dead, and believes in reincarnation
as a means of avoiding one’s own doom.
So now I’m looking for you in every passing car,
in the winter moths that flap silently around my cold closet.
Haven’t caught a glimpse of you yet.
When F. Scott Met Zelda
My body gathers itself under your touch like a dress made of
There is a wasp nest hidden in the gentle cup
between your legs and it’s buzzing like a hornet.
We’re feral for each other, we’re ripping out our hearts
and replacing them with clocks.
When Dante met Beatrice Portinari he felt consumed with a fire
so great he was surprised he didn’t burn up;
when Rilke met his young poet he wrote letters to him until
he was overcome with sadness,
bedridden with unused words.
Handle my body like a grenade that’s ticking down the last
of everyone on this earth
and I’ll handle yours like an apple that’s about to be sliced
When F. Scott met Zelda he drank himself into oblivion
because that’s what she was to him:
a vast empty hole with a pull stronger than the moon.
Your mother made you tie a noose for your sister
made out of your own hair;
now you’re trying to do the same to me.
But I’m licking your wounds
like a cat cleans a bowl full of milk,
and there’s just too many of them
to ever scrape the bottom.
The Book Burner
I used to roll your name around in my mouth like a lost tooth.
As time went by it turned into something bittersweet and rotten,
its roots gripping my gums like a jealous lover.
I still shudder whenever I have to sit down in that dentist's
Once when I was in middle school my father hit a deer with his
on an open road late at night. I remember the headlights shining
in that deer's eyes, and how they never once wavered.
If deer could commit suicide, I believe that one did.
Existence is a lonely thing.
Glass jars without fireflies
are even lonelier.
The ache in my bones is constantly telling me all that I am not,
informing me of my weaknesses and every book
I have yet to read. I gave up believing I could finish them all.
Even the most avid reader in the world
can never get to the bottom of their collection:
I like to think I can still burn holes in you
with only my fingers.
Not Unrequited Love, Exactly, But More Like the Laws of Physics
How our bodies folded together like compactable car seats,
and the way your taste lingered in my mouth like a canker sore
after it was over. Last year my grandfather arranged his shoes
in chronological order in his closet; his wife arranged her
by color. And I started to realize that maybe love was not
holding another person, but alphabetizing every pickup line
they ever wrote you in a file folder down in the basement.
I hope the next woman you sleep with doesn’t call your name
in the middle of sex; I’ve reserved it for myself for next year,
and all the years after. But nothing was more beautiful
than your physics textbook, and how it said we were destined
to come back to one another again and again,
according to Newton’s laws of motion,
no matter how many times we fell apart.