I mean Russian nesting dolls
I mean someone who has spoken for me

if I could leave gender out of it I would

if my story is human
if you give me the right name
if foxes stumble from their nests at night to shimmer under a long moon
if I’m a better fish-girl than you
if I could tell you this
if I could cut out your tongue to give you mine

About the Work

Melissa Atkinson Mercer

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of the chapbooks Storm Was Her Voice (dancing girl press, 2016) and After the Miracle Season (forthcoming, ELJ Publications, 2017). Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Bone Bouquet, Rust+Moth, and Hot Metal Bridge, among others. She has an MFA from West Virginia University and currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina, between a trout stream and a cemetery.

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