I dream that I sew wings
from eyelashes off the dead,
pack honey into bones for the long walk.
If someone said, live here long enough and your
blood will mix with the soil, and they meant your children
and buried, not an honest days work, you too would flee,
flow into this murmuration to keep safe. How could a country
possibly border its breath? We have already set our tables for their souls,
lit candles for every child fainted along the path.
You are the one counting your steps to nowhere, proselytizing fear.
They have bodies of water to cross, hunger to outpace.
Listen, I’ve seen starlings form mesmerizing shapes in the sky.
But this caravan doesn’t need to wow you, witness.
They are you—only after risking this journey—more human.
Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (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.
Photo by Joey Yu.