Monster Psalm #18
Melissa Atkinson Mercer
  I’m famished for precision the very skeleton of song
  (three times you loved me first)

  the good mother in every dream
  cutting down my floral heart (the warm buttery crust

  the piles of shipwreck in my closet)
  maybe it bores you

  all this begging
  the apocalypse glimmering in the water

  the slow and aching apocalypse (the still green whale)
  like you I have trouble sleeping

  in the soft diseased heat like you I’m terrified
  to know what I know

  I’ve been mostly setting things right (no not always not even often)
  and the mother cat is kneading

  my hummed and open skin and it hurts it does
  and I want to say stop

  but if I do I’ll never
  have this love again

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 (Seven Kitchens Press, 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
Grandmother was cyclopean,
Monster Psalm #13