#10 – Three Poems – Meggie Royer


On February 6, DMC celebrates its TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY! 
Holy mackerel, time flies. It's been a great year. We've published 
hundreds of pieces this year that we feel proud and honored to 
share, and we also put out our first book! This week we will be 
counting down the Top Ten Most Read posts from our second year of 
existence, and will present #2 and #1 on Saturday, February 6. 
Thanks for being part of a wild and excellent two years.

@ The Poet I Become When I Drink

Look, we both know everyone in your life who knows better
is glad your 21st birthday doesn’t fall on a Friday.
But the truth is, you’ll still party anyway
soak your angel cake in alcohol then light the candles
& the whole thing will go up in flames.
And you’ll say fuck it
and gorge on all the ashes
as long as they’re enough to get you drunk.
What was it you did at 20? A whole year with only a few shards
to remember. That’s what addiction does.
Mourning the eight inches of hair you cut off
& the man-shaped mold someone left on the only moon
you could see from your front window.
Can’t even remember his name now. Chances are,
it was just a one-night stand.
Chances are, the whole time you two were kissing
you were blacked out. 


I am one in three. Inside the womb, when we
were just tiny origami limbs made of skin
folding ourselves into something only a mother could love
we learned more than we wanted to about loss.
The fourth child died.
Some ocean tide pulled the wrong way, the umbilical cord too tight-
whatever story we wanted to believe in was ours for the taking.
That’s how my two siblings grew up hungry for fairy tales
& the night in shining armor that always saves the damsel in distress,
me, I grew up easy to leave and, you know that saying
about something being so difficult that it takes an arm and a leg
to accomplish? It takes a whole body for someone to love me,
complete with extra finger bones & elbow joints included in the packaging
in case one set still isn’t enough.
When I was a kid, I swore I saw ghosts. The rippling of bathtub water
without anyone in it, footprints climbing the stairs like piano octaves.
I found the fourth child’s hair in my bed, her breath
evaporating from my mirrors.
My siblings never believed in the supernatural, had stubborn heads
& stubborn hearts. That child haunted me like a postcard
from a place that no one knows exists
and after all the hospital trips after too much drinking
and some poorly-planned bridge jump
all my suicide attempts fell into place:
ghosts have a way of making us guilty for the lives we get to lead.
The fourth child didn’t get to have one at all;
maybe I was just trying to make room for her.
I am one in three
but sometimes I wish I were the fourth.

The Birth Defect That Made Me Afraid of Love

In my spare time I design ways to make people fall in love
with anyone but me. It’s hard business, a nine-to-five job,
but better than having to deal with unwanted feelings.
The scar from my mother’s caesarean section still stretches across
half her belly like a crescent moon, and sometimes I wonder
if that’s why my father left her: because she had already been cut open
before he’d even had a chance to do it himself.
In my apartment I stack slips of paper with men’s phone numbers
into piles that I later crisp into ash with my lighter.
All the other tenants in the building think I have Friday night bonfires
where I cook hot dogs and hamburgers over the grill.
They don’t realize that the smell of smoke comes from some version
of unrequited love. My rejection letters to jilted men always end
with the words don’t call me again.
Maybe all of this somehow relates back to my childhood,
when the boy across the block knocked down a wasp nest
with his baseball bat like a piñata, setting them upon me,
stinging me so many times I grew to associate love with hurt.
But whatever it is, my psychology professor suggests
that maybe somehow I was turned upside down in the womb,
my tiny fists flailing like compass needles,
until my feet pointed to my mother’s heart instead of my head,
so I grew up unable to listen to anyone else’s heartbeat
without wanting to kick it into silence instead.


About Meggie Royer

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, Winter Tangerine Review, Electric Cereal, and more. In March 2013 she won a National Gold Medal for her poetry collection and a National Silver Medal for her writing portfolio in the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Her work can be found at writingsforwinter.tumblr.com. When not writing feverishly at all hours of the night or concocting elaborate plans to ward off heartbreak, she can be spotted with friends, laughing about something seemingly insignificant that makes life beautiful. View all posts by Meggie Royer

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