Amanda Merritt is originally from Victoria, Canada where she studied creative writing at the University of Victoria. Most of her formative years, however, were spent in Edmonton, AB, where she developed a healthy disdain for snow. She completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, which was the coldest place she will ever live. Her first collection, The Buoyant Space Between Bodies, will be published by Wundor Editions in October 2017, in London. She rides a bike, makes soap, and will hopefully be a student forever. 

The Watcher


Every angel is terrible.



Shamsiel is perched in the window of his stone tower, shaded by un-laced wings

and a word in his mind. No, maybe not a word. Music. Gargoyle waiting for the wind.


            A viola guts itself with Casimir Ney on the subway staircase. Preludes to nothing but preludes. On the platform, she noticed him then; not his eyes but their darkness.


The end was all revelation:

she had lived like a marble

block, his own Pieta. He never slept,

sat up late in the living room

with his book, bent forward—

always making room for ghosts.

Half aglow.


After his disappearance

she moved through their house

like a barking owl, like dust—

always in losing light. Arias

stung her brain like electricity

on water. The strata clouds

became too fluorescent. Reflections

split the frontal lobe of her skull:

the sky suddenly not loft but cellar.

Then something in her hands faltered,

cracked palms could no longer cradle

the neck of her instrument, pray.


He ties his hair back: dewy from the moisture of the clouds. Ten thousand feet below, a woman, caught in a window of earth, growing tomatoes, clear as a frozen water-fall.


              Behind the sun-slant field the house waits to be lit. A cool wind               whistles the first three notes of a minor scale. Through the dusk               she looks back, sees a man, no, a great bird, folding its wings                 in the rye.






The Waterfall Effect

A summer breeze cools

the runoff between my breasts,

soft as the cotton

of this balled-up dress.


Lit over the river

by the lowering sun,

the rock face

becomes a god.

In its shadow, you sit

on a knuckle of stone,

scaled with spray.

I call and all you hear

is the voice of the white water,

I look back


           and the land rushes away.