by Megan Merchant




Before the children wake, we sneak outside for the quiet of morning frost.

I swipe the glass with my finger, wipe impact onto the surface. Fix it there.


We try it out, throw eggs at the lip of stairs and watch for the moment they touch,

then shatter. I miss a dozen. Catch each hoovering, then wreckage,

but not the fraction in-between, when the crack widens enough for the heart to rip free.


When my husband walks back to the house, he pads through dirt. Bound with the yolk-

splat, it makes tracks on the floor impossible to scrub clean.


His breath, still fogged, hoovers between us, our breakfast sloshed all over the stoop

for neighbors to see. Our children wake with a shiver.


Later that night, our friends get engaged. Someone raises a glass for a lifetime of ease,

another pairs that toast with happiness, then travel and a knot of love.


Someone else interrupts, spouts put a baby in her right away. She clutches her belly,

polite and flat, before they both laugh and say—it’s a good thing we are both fixed.



Megan Merchant

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 children’s book, These Words I Shaped for You (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