Two poems by merritt k

 

 

 

FAMILIAR

my problem is in the long term memory
i always forget what pain
or what no pain is

my brain is a baby cat
and the way things are right now
is the way they are always going to be
forever and ever

so we are leaving a wake of disasters

and i scold her but
she is just a baby cat
and doesn’t know any better

a familiar could be a connection
to the devil or yourself

if you cast a line into the depths
and heave
you could drag up anything

so i carry her around and whisper:

that’s where you threw up from eating too fast

your claws are getting bigger and sharper

let’s be careful

 

 

 

VULNERABILITY EXERCISE

someone showed me a beautiful thing
and i pulled back like
why would you show me that

i can agree in the abstract
that organs are beautiful
without having to see them
outside your body

or i can recognize the form
of fragility as something
necessary and right
without wanting to live in
a crystal house

i feel like every room is a reservoir
that can only hold so much feeling
before it bursts

and i am the only one
ever doing these calculations
and making adjustments to keep
us all safe

hammering away at my old timey
ribbon calculator in a plastic visor
making deductions and crunching numbers

 

 

 

 

merritt k is a Canadian writer whose work investigates the conditions of intimacy in precarious settings. Her first book, Videogames for Humans, is an exploration of contemporary interactive fiction and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Anthology. She can be found on Twitter at @merrittkopas.

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