Laura Merleau


Too many days had passed
Since you drifted onto
A blank portion
Of the page

Everywhere I looked wind blew
Sun rose, sea swelled

Then your unnamed bird
Flew out of its cage

For weeks transcribing
The tension between
Five circles arranged

In a bigger circle

Everything about how
Nerve cells conduct electricity
Couldn't last forever

I got enough to measure
By hanging around
Letting your echoes
Swallow my tones

Drowned feathers, it turns out,
Can resemble home

Now I feel my age
Like a boat so heavily
Bejeweled as to make
Sailing impossible

I wake, eat, bathe,
Toy with a knife sketched
On the back of a scroll
Moving downstream
On a glassy eddy

As the chorus of birds
Around me slows

You were just an idea
With the command and grace
Of ancient calligraphic forms

Looking around for my shadow to learn
It, too, has been outgrown


Laura Merleau received her doctoral degree in American Literature from the University of Kansas in 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Sweet, The Los Angeles Review, and Ragazine. An excerpt from her play Bipolar Order appeared in the September 2010 issue of Muse.