Lisa Mecham

Lisa Mecham writes a little bit of everything and her work has appeared in Amazon’s Day One, Mid-American Review, and BOAAT, among other publications. A Midwesterner at heart, Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her two daughters where she’s finishing a book about surviving mental illness in the suburbs; think: “Eat, Pray, Love” meets “The Shining” meets “Revolutionary Road.”
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BAPTISM

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The stink of bleach creeps

up my wet gown, a man’s

hand on my back. Praise

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the age of sin, I am eight

in this hall of mirrors,

a fount, most sacred place.

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I descend, all those feet

lining the lip, heavenly

Father, Son, look down

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upon me. I know nothing

better than secrets.

There is no Holy Ghost

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inside me. Thrust me

back, down, water floods

mouth, nose, tiny white

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panties drenched, then up!

My parents weep into

songs of salvation.

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I am terrified. I cannot

show it. In this way,

I have pleased everyone.

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THIS BOUNTIFUL WEANING

For Lisa Gionis 1960-2008

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A baby can cry, all night, her mother

saying she must learn not to want so much.

Tiny arms flailing, like a hungry bird

she longs for the one who deprives her.

Years later, summer night, how boys watch

girls, their eyes, how they always fall

upon the center of a circle. She says

look what I can do as she contorts

her arms, shoulder blades poking

as if she had wings. They laugh,

mouths to ears, the whoosh of air

when a secret is passed. Tell me she cries,

as they tie her to a tree so she can’t fly away.

How does one say enough?

Marriage, its blind bargain, all the men

and little children, they must be fed.

And that morning, the barnyard smell

of uneaten eggs. The lack of small

gestures, except for the man smiling

as he fills her bright red gasoline can.

And on bended knees, as she drenches

her body and strikes the match,

as angels lift shovels and skin

sizzles upon the ground,

all she can see is her mother’s

back, the closing door.

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THE FAR REACHING CONSEQUENCE OF INSISTENCE

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Ghost track of headlamps in a dark wood,

the oily smear after a body burns.

If I have done this, if there be

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iniquity in my hands, let it seep.

The baton, wild. A riot of fingernails

plucking, valves sliding, black holes

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whirling in their wild youth.

Do memories echo if imagined?

An inhalation so sharp, pangs

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of stones, their clack-rattle

in my uterus. A constellation

of nails behind the Mona Lisa.

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An evening, a morning, a fifth day,

then all dead buttons at crosswalks and elevators.

Everything, a beautiful deception.

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