Grandmother was cyclopean,
Melissa Atkinson Mercer

blind of faces, could not know me without touch. But mother wore the harder duty: sky-blind, light-over-the-sea-blind, nights-into-mornings blind. She’d come upon me in the witching black—why do you sleep, why do you sleep—urge me out to catch the rabbits, to pin the storms to the clotheslines, the floods to my mouth. To dig up the matriarchal bones. But I: though frantic, though bold: found only the skulls of elephants. Darling, whoever told you we were human? Take care to take the common name, to keep the center eye silent and sessile; to keep it careful, yes, and cursed.

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of Saint of the Partial Apology (Five Oaks Press, 2017) as well as four poetry chapbooks, including After the Miracle Season (ELJ Editions, 2017) and Star-Blind in the Family of Fortune Keepers Hermeneutic Chaos, 2017). Her work has recently appeared in Zone 3, Blue Earth Review, Storm Cellar, and others. She currently lives in the Tennessee mountains.  


more by Melissa Atkinson Mercer:
Frostbite
Monster Psalm #13
Monster Psalm #18