By Merridawn Duckler

Reading Charles Simic in the chaos
of the living room
where the furniture has so forgotten it’s place that chairs
sit on other chairs and many things we told others we’d keep
are broken like a promise, precisely in half.   

Time empties the living room, first the brown couch, 
then the table with six mustard colored tiles laid like fingers
with one missing, then rug, lamp, piano, blinds. 
And every time I exit with an object, 
the ones left behind grow more knowing, 
like two women sharing a glance; 
and I think: if Vesuvius covered me now, 
I would not be able to hide what I am.

Merridawn Duckler is a poet, playwright from Portland, Oregon. Recent poetry in TAB: Journal of Poetry and Poetics (best of the web nomination), International Psychoanalysis, Really System, Rivet Journal, Rogue Agent, Unbroken Journal, The Offing, forthcoming from Blue Lyra, Free State Review, Yellow Chair Review, Otis Nebula, Crab Creek Review, Literary Orphan, Birds Piled Loosely. Runner-up for the poetry residency at the Arizona Poetry Center, judged by Farid Matuk. Finalist at Center for Book Arts and Tupelo Press. Recent prose in Poetica and humor in Defenestration. Finalist for the 2016 Sozoplo Fiction Fellowship. Her play in verse was in the Emerging Female Playwright Festival of the Manhattan Shakespeare Project. Other plays in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Valdez, Alaska. Fellowships/awards include Writers@Work, NEA, Yaddo, Squaw Valley, SLS in St. Petersburg, Russia, Southampton Poetry Conference with Billy Collins, others. She’s an editor at Narrative and the international philosophy journal Evental Aesthetics.