Pampiniform (like a tendril)

The way he said come here. Kissed the tip of my shoulder.

Bare now. The dress strap slipped. Deck of cards stacked

into a pyramid on the porch table, our weathervane. No wind.


Means when the school bus groans to a three o’clock stop

in front of our house, we will hear the blur of honeybee chatter

from the windows and think wisteria.


How the botanist said the seeds will sprout, but might never

bloom. But how they vined and dipped mischievously

underground. Choked the wood post that crutches our land.

Clockwise. Rooted, breaths-away from where we planted it.


(The small stone in my belly, vein-dry.)

We’ll try again. His whisper collarbone-thin.


I grip a pad of steel wool to buff the rust spots on our shears.

Then cradle the sharp edges in soapy water, my fingers pale as milk.


I float a handful of the violet clippings in a steel pot,

sprinkle soda ash, leaves and stems, soak a dress overnight,

the silk staining morning soft—yellow bled into green.


Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a forthcoming children’s book with Philomel Books. She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera. She is an Editor at The Comstock Review and you can find her work at