Earhart to Howland
Amelia, the pool has been drained here, two solid footprints
resting in its basin like moon furrows. Just days ago the neighbors
found the body of a fawn curled beneath the water,
its velvet fur matted in slumber.
When they lifted it from the concrete
its limbs folded like wings, Amelia.
They buried it behind the church,
its edges dipped in dirt,
just another downed comet.
Amelia, I thought of you then,
your last known transmission, your shadow on the ocean surface.
Wonder if the footprints were your trespass,
if the fawn was your passing forgiveness
for all the ones who couldn’t find you in time.
Scenes from a Marriage
Grandmother dug him out of the lake next to the wood,
his fingers curled around reeds, pockets threaded with silt.
A small frog tucked into his cufflinks, their silver long tarnished
into copper, its belly bloated with sound.
We sat him at the dinner table;
she wanted to place an orange in his mouth
like they do with pigs, or an apple, something round and sweet.
I had to remind her he was here as a guest,
not a meal or a savior.
A widow’s heart, the skyline, some grave
you dug yourself out of just to get to the horizon.
She wanted to keep him,
to let the story follow its course this time,
one more life inside her bed.
My mother dreams of Zarmina at night, the young Afghan girl
who set herself on fire to protest the love she was denied
and her beating
for writing couplets.
She stands over Zarmina’s grave, throws in seeds & salt,
watches her rise like a phoenix
from the pit, burqa wreathed in gold,
mouth opening to let in my mother’s ghost.
She gives herself up gladly to this girl.
Lets Zarmina feed on every bone and poem,
marrow and all, her sunken grey face
haloed by light like a funeral pyre,
the kind widows jump on after their husbands die.
When she wakes my mother returns to her empty bed,
tries to remember the scent of my father’s body
but comes away with only ash.
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. Her work can be found at www.writingsforwinter.tumblr.com.