Time Capsule
by Megan Merchant

Churring of cicadas, like the middle-school choir
and the chubby girl who plays trombone,
            the way she puffs her cheeks.

The glam & scrunchie squad in the bathroom
say she’ll be popular with boys for
            that reason. They gab about basements

and low light, couch cushions that smell of oysters
and neon, the skin of his leather jacket that sticks
            to her cheek in the fall.

You’re still wearing corduroys and pink headphones,
skipping weed-sprouts along the sidewalk,
            a glass bottle of orange soda in your hand,

sickly-sweet. The sickly waits—soon enough
it will sterilize the crushing beats of nervous-happy,
            dampen the static, find you faking your name

to sign consent forms for the morning after pill.
The condom broke, you’ll say, instead of the TV was turned
            loud, I was there, but I wasn’t.

It’s what you don’t know, yet. Summer still floats
as an invitation. You are perfect-enough sweet,
            and glass bottles are slow-lips you can tip at will.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Megan Merchant writes during naptime, in the car, and sometimes while hiding in the pantry. Her poems and translations have appeared in publications including the Atlanta Review, Kennesaw Review, Margie, International Poetry Review, and The Poetry of Yoga. She was the winner of the Las Vegas Poets Prize, judged by Tony Hoagland. She is the author of two chapbooks — Translucent, Sealed (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) and In the Rooms of a Tiny House ( ELJ Publications, October 2016). Her first full length collection Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press) will be appearing in 2016 along with and her first children’s book through Philomel Books.