INTERDEPENDENCE: Meggie Royer, “The Summer I Shrank and You Expanded” (2/6)

Meggie RoyerIn the spirit of July’s Interdependence theme, this week’s Featured Creative is the inspiringly prolific poet, Meggie Royer. Looking through Tumblr’s “writing” tag sometime in 2013, I came across her blog, Writings for Winter, and have since fallen for her heart-on-your-sleeves-style writing that still manages to connect with cynical millennials. Meggie is a poet who’s fearlessly honest when tackling life’s most difficult emotional challenges. We thought her work perfectly captures a variety of intermingling alliances. Her third book, The No You Never Listened To, is now available via Words Dance Publishing, and her brand new online literary magazine, Persephone’s Daughters is accepting poetry, prose, and artwork focused on empowering female victims of abuse and degradation until July 8th (writers of all gender identities are welcome to submit). Throughout the week, we will feature some of our favorite poems from her blog, as well as her responses to questions about her work/creative process.
~Kim Kaletsky, Ideablog Managing Editor

“The Summer I Shrank and You Expanded”

The year we dissected a squid and ate its tentacles piece

by piece down at the pier next to your house was the year

you expanded while I grew into myself. We kissed one

another like good luck charms, like talismans, and used

our bodies in place of fortune tellers. I read your palm lines

and came to the conclusion that we would be together forever.

You hated the word forever and settled for a long time.

As we grew more familiar with one another’s skin,

I watched my intake. I wanted nothing but you, would inhale

nothing but you, counted my calories like sheep before

drifting off to sleep. The less I ate, the more room I saved

for you. You wanted to swallow me whole so I fed myself

to you piece by piece, the tender red flesh of my thumbs

and breasts until they grew bruised by your mouth.

In those days I ate nothing but a cup of cold cereal.

When we watched the whales dive in the surf,

slapping the water like winners of an arm wrestling match,

you were almost as giant as their cavernous ribs.

I was smaller than the smallest school of fish.

I wanted to fade into you, into the house of your lungs,

so I spent hours sucking in my ribs in front of the mirror.

We became opposites of one another.

But in the end, my wish to become part of you failed,

and I simply became the skeleton in your closet instead.

Buy Meggie’s latest book, The No You Never Listened To, here.tumblr_nok81nQZf41sr5i78o1_1280


We understand that Persephone’s Daughters is a magazine dedicated to empowering women who have experienced abuse and degradation. Have you received submissions from people who do not identify as female? What have those voices added to the magazine’s mission so far?

Yes, we’ve received submissions from a handful of people who do not identify as female, whether they are male, genderfluid, nonbinary, trans, or a multitude of other wonderful identities. I think it’s important that their voices are vying to join the pages of our magazine by empowering women, because it shows that abuse and sexual violence against women and girls are not females-only issues–and shouldn’t be because everyone, regardless of their identities, has a role to play in decreasing violence against women. If we frame violence against women as an issue for solely women to respond to, work on, and advocate against, then it sends the message that other voices don’t have a responsibility to pitch in, that it’s not their problem, that women have failed somehow and now must make matters right on their own. But when you have an issue as widespread and prevalent as this one, every single voice matters, and every single voice brings a different perspective to the table.

See more of Meggie’s Featured Creative posts on our Ideablog

016_resized~~~Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance MagazineThe Harpoon ReviewMelancholy Hyperbole, and more. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.

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