Author: Meggie Royer

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poetry has been published in Words Dance Magazine, Hooligan Magazine, and Rib Cage. She also has two published poetry books, Survival Songs and Healing Old Wounds with New Stitches. Her work can be found at writingsforwinter.tumblr.com.

To Pop Pills with a Mockingbird

Harper Lee is penning a new great American novel
and all I can manage each day is scooping peanut butter
into grapefruit halves because we’re out of clean bowls
& write poems about how writing poems about
the people you love sucks
when everything you submit to lit magazines
only lets them down.
Harper Lee has Scout and Scout has her father
but sometimes all I have
is the man who once counted the knots in my hair
like an abacus and said he’d rather leave my poems
than my bed.

Dear Ethan

The most overused word in English poetry is ghost
but I’ve already used it once so far in this poem,
thousands of times in this life of mine,
an exit wound that never follows its own advice.
So I refer to all my hookups in past tense,
like hey there are those spirits I made out with once,
there’s that poltergeist who ground my hips
down to bone in a dark alleyway.
They say over a thousand men
have claimed to be Ethan Patz
every year since he went missing;
makes you wonder if that boy you kissed
a few weeks ago at the neighbor’s party
was him – teeth, body, & all.

litany of bad kissers

some days we fall in love with our own houses
like we’re making up for all the times our fathers never wanted us
undressing next to coffee cups and shredded bills
and we sleep with every man we can get our hands on
because that’s the easiest way of flipping the bird
to every boy who ever bullied us in middle school.
seems like everyone else in our neighborhood
knows how to exorcise ghosts but us.
seems like swallowing seasons
is only better than swallowing pills
if we end up changed.

Rules for Having Regrettable Sex

My partners always ask me if I came, as if the whole time
I was somehow not present.
Faking it reminds me of the day a friend pretended
to be drinking black coffee, when really
it was just hot water in a mug.
When my parents divorced I slept with more men than usual
like I was making up for one less person in the house
swallowing so much wine beforehand
that their palms felt like spun sugar between my thighs.
When it’s over and they’re slumped around my body
like open hearts, they always ask
if I’ll be writing poems about them.
If the sex was good, maybe.
But there’s not really a simpler way to say to tell them
I only write poetry about moments
that meant something to me.

Scheherazade

this is my fourth tattoo already & in the middle of an argument
about my dead father my mother told me i should get a 5th of hickeys
since that was the only contribution i ever brought home.
all my early memories are either of sex
or childhood bedtime stories about cowboys.
i don’t intend this poem to be for you
since the last one you wrote for me
involved a line about how drinking an entire bottle of wine
was my one and only talent.
at least it’s a better skill to be known for
than sleeping through all the seasons of grief.

Why the Fuck Do You Write So Many Dark Poems?

It would be a miracle if most poets weren’t arsonists.
If I had enough of a salary to buy a couple gallons of gasoline,
I would’ve burned down plenty of poems a long time ago.
The ones that talked about the lemon juice I spread over my floorboards
after you left, so every morning when I awoke
I’d have to step over something bitter as an analogy for getting over you.
And the ones about how my chosen method of death is being crushed
beneath a baby grand piano falling out of an apartment window,
but mostly just the ones in which I wrote about love
like I actually knew two shits about it.
Once a reader asked me if I were capable of writing anything
that didn’t mention drinking. Another told me to go kill myself.
If I’d written poems about those two readers,
I’d have lit up the papers I wrote them on and poured the ashes in an hourglass
to time how long it took before I wrote another sad poem.
And if I ran out of alcohol, maybe I’d drink the ashes too.
So much for being capable of writing anything sans drinking.
There’s not really an eloquent way to put this:
most of my poems are dark because most of the time,
I think about killing myself. But I won’t.
That second reader didn’t hurt me.
They were just telling me to do what I’d already thought about.

obituary of a failed relationship

you only want sex after returning home from drive-in diners
and the last night we have together i’m almost sad to see you go
as if all the times when you came without caring if i did
were some form of love.
the internet announces tim burton and helena bonham carter have split
after thirteen years together and no one on tumblr
can understand how this could have happened.
co-parenting must be hard.
we couldn’t even take care of the dog together
without throwing all the best china at each other’s backs.
maybe someday i’ll forget the tattoos with your names
like the dead eventually forget the dying.