Uncle, I was busy falling hard for fists
the night your tumor surfaced from the deep,
a body pulled from dark water.
Between the pines I let some boy betray me
our spines pressed against bark
like scratching posts, the endless call
of coyotes mixing with his cries
and all the while your cells
were crescendoing in replication
giving and giving yourself to something
that would bleed the river from you
and thread it through the ground
the same way I lay among the needles
when it was all over.
Sean Penn begs my forgiveness in a dream
for tying Madonna to a chair and letting loose his fists
like ghosts across her face.
Woody Allen lines up next with another apology,
followed by John Lennon
weeping over Yoko Ono.
How sturdy the bloodline by mother’s first husband
threaded through my DNA, his pockets full of switchblades.
How soft the marrow of the bones
unearthed years later from his attic,
the exodus of so many lives he pulled from women’s throats,
spines stacked like milk crates in the corner.
Bringing dark ruby roses by the house the day he was released
their buds unfurling like pupils
as if mimicking all the palms that reached
to turn him away.
Next up, ladies and gentlemen, the one, the only,
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, Winter Tangerine Review, The Harpoon Review, and more. In March 2013 she won a National Gold Medal for her poetry collection and a National Silver Medal for her writing portfolio in the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her work can be found at writingsforwinter.tumblr.com.