Megan Merchant

melancholy women are small windows.

from her mouth
you can see the azalea
blooms crouched under
trees. Her eyes—soda
water, crocheted blanket,
eggshell cold.
When she sleeps,
she unpacks the day’s
memories. Soup can.
Fern. Wool hat.
Wistfulness is also a way
to decorate time.
If you wait long enough
by her door, you will
see how the bees, misplaced
in this season, cluster bottles
lined along the trash. And if,
allowed enough quiet, the glass-
light buzzes.



Portraiture: Nude

We are taught to yearn for erasure.
Red stockings drying over the porcelain tub.
Strands of hair in the sink.
The spot of shade between thighs.
Pigeons on the landing, iridescent
until the light rearranges, shifts to
the apartment next door, unpacks.
If you were to paint want back
into my skin, it would be with
an old brush, streaks of morning
blue stained into the bristles.
The wood handle smooth, the air
in the room tasting most like Spanish
olives spooned directly from the can.



Portraiture: Ink & Nib

I ink dogwood petals that littered the ground to see how much dark
they can hold before shredding and exposing such delicate veins.



Megan Merchant (she/her) lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ with her husband and two children. She holds an M.F.A. degree in International Creative Writing from UNLV and is the author of three full-length poetry collections with Glass Lyre Press: Gravel Ghosts (2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, 2017), Grief Flowers (2018), four chapbooks, and a children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (Philomel Books). Her latest book, Before the Fevered Snow, was released in April 2020 with Stillhouse Press. She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera, the 2018 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, second place in the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and most recently the Inaugural Michelle Boisseau Prize. She is the Editor of Pirene’s Fountain and offers private mentorship opportunities, editing services, and manuscript consultations. You can find her work at