Two poems by Kathryn Merwin
[Geography of a Lost City]
|Said you were at large, so I imagined||you stepping through my chimney, stamping out|
|forest fires beneath your feet. I cut||green peppers in the kitchen, pressed garlic, crushed|
|rosemary until my fingers bled||spices. The woods breathed and whispered|
|music through the windows. I tried||to say love without it sounding like there are too many|
|exit wounds. Magpies whistled||in my body. Slow ferns dripped|
|dew like they were heavy with||honey. I scavenged dead things then: fairy-tales,|
|extinct language, the strange||shifts in time zones, the night|
|sky falling into your hair. You knelt||in the eglantine, steeped|
|in the wreckage of your hands||in silence. Remember what you left|
|between my bones, [what you hid||behind].|
Silueta en Fuego
Ana Mendieta plummeted from the window
of her apartment in Greenwich Village, New York,
after a violent argument with her husband,
who was subsequently acquitted of her murder.
Ana—exchange of skin for tree bark, stitched
wrists to the sky. September sun a burning
womb, tethered constellations, parasail
from the window.
Ana—lipstick smeared on the mirror, scrawled
words like fraud and failure, set course
without compass from the east 34th painted
the white dress scarlet.
black-plum woman, name that scorched
Ana—magpie laughing, spatter
acrylic, blood on fire. One silhouette, a black
halo in the snow.
Kathryn Merwin is a native of Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barely South Review, burntdistrict, Folio, Slipstream, Notre Dame Review, and Jabberwock Review, among others. In 2015, she was awarded the Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize for Poetry. She currently serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Milk Journal and Managing Editor of The Scarab.