Reading About Famine & Interior Decorating During a Blood Draw – Megan Merchant

Megan Merchant

The doctor cuts me like a paper doll
to source the sadness, takes vials of tissue
for those who’ve stopped feeling.

Too many to count.
He adds something blue.

The waiting room is a weep of concertos.
Elegant against news
that travels too slowly and arrives

I’m fasted as a drought,
and read to busy the truth,
but the typeface of famine
has a curve.

One article says the key
to interior decorating is dramatic clash.
Splintered wood with crushed velvet.
Wine red with bone.

Gandhi said whatever you do
will be insignificant
but it is very important that you do it.

The ads remind me
how malnourished photographs so well,
we might mistake it for savage beauty.

The doctor asks my weight.
I give it in ounces of grief.

If each child that was starving
were a letter, I could teach
you the alphabet in a single breath.
That song would never leave your head.

The fly on the wall
is patient for the door to open,
but hums differently. It is teaching the light
to read. Its wings broaden
into glass.

Outside, the cottonwood seeds
are spawning mid-air;

my blood in a vial feels immortal
because of the looming possibility to stain.

I ask the doctor to sew an eye
under my skin. When it wears thin
into age, hopefully

it will all become clear.


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