Kathryn Merwin

River Mouth
by Kathryn Merwin

When the light broke
upon your crown of crow’s feathers,

you didn’t believe in silence or sound. Your dime-round-eyes
widened with your chest,

the way a hot air balloon sucks in the sky,
until your heart was the size of Washington, and just as full

of rain. You waited for your father,
for the man who wore the continents, who would only stop sailing

when the moon tossed a coin. We filled balloons
with bits of us, with a dark curved warning,

she could be a weapon. Set them on the wind to find someone
who breathed like we did: a gale force in your chest,

sirocco in my ribcage. You bombed out your bedroom
and found your way back to that paper-sword salesman

and your queen of spades. You have your own son now,
and he could not count the wasted coins tossed into you

on both his hands.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 3.

Kathryn MerwinKathryn Merwin is a native of Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Booth, Natural Bridge, and Sugar House Review, among others. She has been awarded the Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize for Poetry, the Blue Earth Review Annual Poetry Prize, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently pursuing her MFA through Western Washington University.

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