Sail by Meggie Royer

Years before I learned to open myself,

I spent two weeks in a whaling yard.

Ships lined up in tandem, their dark hulls

buried in sinks of salt.

They say the harpoon doesn’t hurt,

that it’s only a tug.

The bloodstream fights off the intruder

with the grace of a maestro

until a clot forms.

Pulsing ruby, it grows. Flattens.


With my back against the wall,

everything of his that shouldn’t have been

was inside me.