Meggie Royer, “Ophelias”

Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently working as an educator on domestic violence in Minnesota. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review, Melancholy Hyperbole, and more.

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On October 24, 2018, two Saudi sisters, Tala and Rotana Farea, were found bound together in the waters of the Hudson. Prior to their deaths, the sisters reported that they had been abused by family.

There are some rivers brimming with hair,
dark in the way songs are dark,
red pooled into empty curls,
women upon women upon women
who lived in the cities they burned.
Once, a hand can be cradled,
but not twice.
Then, a throat can be closed,
but not now.
And the tendrils pile on the surface
like oil, and fishermen will strain each lock
through their nets like pearls.
If the hair of all the women we’ve lost
were harvested,
we could make even more women
to leave in lakes
as their lives slide through like mud.





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