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.
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.
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.