Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Chosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016), The Dark's Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a forthcoming children's book with Philomel Books. She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera. She is an Editor at the Comstock Review and you can find her work here.
It is the first day of fall and my doctor is wearing
moccasins, beads, the color of autumn, sewn onto skin.
She moves soundlessly, skilled, and asks me to take
a deep breath before clearing the y-shaped wire from my body.
It has grown tired, so she is replacing it with another, which means—
there is little chance I will become pregnant now, even in dreams.
Before pinching it into place, she asks once more—are you ready?
When I arrive to pick up my youngest from school, another is crying.
He lifts my glasses to gauge my eyes and decides that I’m fit,
or kind enough, to carry him into quiet, and when he presses
his hair to my chest, I smell a house of books and sour milk,
another woman’s kiss at his temples, a song tucked into his sleeves.
We rock and rock the way a birthed body settles into stillness,
and when I do not feel any borders, or pangs that this child could never
be mine, I know I am ready to be sealed, the procedure-blood drying,
outside—the dry-weather leaves blushing.