POETRY
I Want to Rub Donald Trump With a Soft Cloth
Megan Merchant

We are standing on a balcony
between mountains, 

pointing to a scrim of houses
and acres of wild-
fenced,

so far off
we say distance, 

when a monk holds a glass
in his hand says, 

if I hit this glass
with another -
we both break,

and the falcons hem
a spiral of air,

the bombast
of presidential speeches
sags,

as the rain starts
to fall and we stay 

not rushing for cover
even though the gusts
have blissed
our hair 

across our eyes
like flags
that unstitch 

and usher prayers 

underneath
doorsteps

where the kettle
is heating
and just about ready
to cry, 

and why, 
a students asks
are these gods wrathful ?

scrolls woven
with skulls
as cups for blood 

and strings of bone
ornaments—

I know the answer
is to wage war
against the enemies
of Buddhism, 

but the monk-
glass still in his hand, 

asks, 
what would happen,
if instead I rub this
with a soft cloth ? 


Megan Merchant is mostly forthcoming. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (available now through Glass Lyre Press) The Dark’s Humming (Winner of the 2015 Lyrebird Prize, Glass Lyre Press, forthcoming 2017), four chapbooks and a forthcoming children’s book with Philomel Books. She lives in the tall pines of Prescott, Arizona and teaches Mindfulness & Meditation at Prescott College.