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e(im)migrant

 
 
 
red-lunged whales whisper in the salt beneath our sleep

give us

 

the chamber of the heart called dream

it is no longer anyone’s dream

 

to live here says the woman at the honey stand

her tongue threaded sweet with bees

 

we too walked

until we could not stop & then we walked here

 

gathered apples from the muddy leaves

used our last nickels for milk

 

we sat with her under the cows shimmering

& dying in the summer heat

 

would you rather be out of luck or out of time

halfway there or halfway through | we who are psalmic

 

who did once hold welcome

like music in our bones
 
 
 

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of Saint of the Partial Apology (Five Oaks Press, 2017) as well as five poetry chapbooks, including My Own Strange Beast (Porkbelly Press, 2017) and ghost exhibit (forthcoming, Glass Poetry Press). Her work has recently appeared in Bone Bouquet, Blue Earth Review, Storyscape, and others. She currently works and teaches at Lees-McRae College.