A letter to my third-grade teacher (after my father-in-law says “transgender aren’t people”) [Megan Merchant]  

I need you to know that I am so sorry for asking how Hitler
was able to convince so many they were bright, that they were
greater than. That entitlement was a virtue. I am sorry for asking
you to explain that equation, how some were flawed and dark,
while others were airy & bright. How some are judged to be
vulnerable, others strong. I am sorry for asking how the diversity
we are given as fetuses is in any way connected to character, and
for pointing out the science-based and obvious—that not a single
one of us gets to choose the color of our skin, the language we
first taste upon our tongue. I am sorry if I put you on the spot.
Evil is terribly vague. Difficult to explain away with evidence-based
logic. And I thought we had learned from our scars. But most of all,
I am sorry for saying this could never happen again. If this current
wave of hatred is in any way your means of answering, of experiential
learning, let me first say that your long game is strong. But please, stop now.


Megan Merchant lives in the tall pines of Prescott, AZ.  She is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Gravel Ghosts (Glass Lyre Press, 2016), The Dark’s Humming (2015 Lyrebird Award Winner, Glass Lyre Press, 2017), four chapbooks, and a forthcoming children’s book with Philomel Books. She was awarded the 2016-2017 COG Literary Award, judged by Juan Felipe Herrera. She is an Editor at The Comstock Review and you can find her work at  meganmerchant.wix.com/poet.

Inspiration: This poem roared after a real conversation. Instead of arguing, I chose to use my breath to cast a wider light. The dark agenda of fear does not want us to see each other & or the ways in which we are all connected.



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