by Meg Eden
after Shuntaro Tanikawa’s Lunar Cycle
Inside of me, there is a funeral for dolls.
Even though they haven’t moved
in weeks, they remain inside me.
Did I imagine them walking
in and over my body, an illusion
of my daughters, reaching through me—
My only testament is the weight
of my body. Every day I carry
the dead like a grave digger.
What house do I provide for them?
I am no home: too small
for rooms and always sleeping.
I squat in the dark, praying to coax
them into rest, wanting to remove
the memory of my failure—
Suddenly, on my legs, the funeral procession
begins: the dolls arrive in sticky dresses,
so small they are congealed into the blood.
When I bend closely I can make out
their legs, eyes, those incredible
fingers extended up like hairs.
The dolls are broken and smeared
on me like bugs. What will I do
with all this blood?
Even after bathing repeatedly
I am marked by them. Their predestined
names are burned into me, and no matter
how much I swallow to absolve
myself, my mind holds regular funerals,
and in all my dreams, kicking.
Meg Eden’s work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Eleven Eleven, and Rock & Sling. Her work received second place in the 2014 Ian MacMillan Fiction contest. Her collections include “Your Son” (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award), “Rotary Phones and Facebook” (Dancing Girl Press) and “The Girl Who Came Back” (Red Bird Chapbooks). She teaches at the University of Maryland. Check out her work at: facebook.com/megedenwritespoems.