A poem by Meggie Royer

Photo of a waning moon in night sky

On September 27, 2018, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, an esteemed professor of psychology at Palo Alto University, testified that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in high school. Before he did so, he locked the door of the bedroom, the only door in the room. Years later, when she and her husband were remodeling their home, Dr. Ford asked her husband if they could include a second front door.

Over time, the hippocampus grows smaller, becomes an interloper
in the brain, not a tumor but almost with the same effect,
a window turned away from view.
Speaking of windows, there are some in certain rooms
but not in others, just like there are doors here
but not there, just like this could be one world
despite our best intentions to make it another.

Not easy, to bury the young, not easy, to carry the weight,
some elephants swinging the dead child on their tusks
for days. What makes an animal an animal
is its grief. A jewel in the body, a frisson of need in the eye,
a spinal tap that continues until the tap is a tapping
and the tapping has let go of its sound.

A thousand men will talk about their dead wives.
Some still in the ground, some gone to memory,
some missing with one shoe left behind.
A thousand more
will have been the cause of death.
A private experience, loss – made public.

You can run until you can’t.
You can leave until you won’t.
There is a house, it could be anywhere,
where the moon hangs like a moving pendulum
over the front door.
Philosophers have found that older children
will change the speed of a falling object
by adjusting the length of its string.
Younger ones
try to adjust the object itself.

The outcome is still the same:
something is falling,
or it was pushed.

And over the second front door,
there is no moon. That one’s gone.
It was saved
for what was built before.

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently working in the domestic violence field in Minnesota. Her poems have previously appeared in The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, The Minnesota Review, and more. She runs a literary journal, Persephone’s Daughters, dedicated to empowering survivors of domestic and sexual violence and child abuse.

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