Amanda Merpaw Literature Poetry

Essay on Closure

I try to end it the night we lunge lung first into the north country, the unappeasable shores of Lake Superior and me too unappeasable, restless and reckless, tensing the edges of the waves. We can’t tell if they’re advancing or receding. Gravity forgets us our measures of depth, the possibilities of proximity. You tell me to keep my distance, if only in the dark. Fine. I take to the trees instead, let my skin ferment astride late August’s paper birches. Peel back the trembling bark, bother a crane together with my sweating hands. Fold and unfold, fold and unfold, fold and let go, not looking where it falls. I’m not interested in persistence, how a thing begins and then continues. I thought you knew. Didn’t you say you could press your tongue against time, clockwise my spine with my name until it stalls? Oh, you say. Alright, you say. That’s not what I meant. Not at all.

Amanda Merpaw (she/her) is a writer and editor. Her writing has appeared in CV2, Grain, Prairie Fire, PRISM international, and Room, and she was shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine’s 2022 Poem of the Year Contest. Her chapbook Put the Ghosts Down Between Us is available from Anstruther Press, and her debut collection is forthcoming from Palimpsest Press in 2024.