LOVE ME, INDIGO, by Loie Merritt

Loie Merritt is a writer and mixed media artist from the coast of Maine. She recently received an MFA from the University of Colorado, where she now teaches creative writing. Recent work has appeared in Map Literary, DREGINALD, Lemon Hound, Anamesa, and The Cafe Review, among others. She lives in Boulder.


What tone does the syringe take when it
Nips at the vein
That pain is white that
Pain is
Hot and
Clean and
It’s your words against mine
Cutting the skin
I’m ready

I’m ready I said
I’m ready to
Pry my body from its history and
Go ahead tell me that this body doesn’t matter that
My body doesn’t count not

Not today but
Can I have permission for

I’m ready to set my feet apart
To open my legs
And show you how this body
Is immeasurable is
Full belly pain and
Honey pleasure and
Hot and clean


A seed pops in this
dry mouth

My state of
renegade calm gone

I empty the bottle and rattle
my fingers round the
warm rim of this soft sun

In my other hand this
heavy breast filled
with meat and juice

I think about
a Denial

I think about
my diseased November mind


A blood vessel
She squirms in her chair like you can’t fool me
                This simple truth
gnaws at the breakfast table
Her boiling head is the color of an egg

A fear
She tells me, no no no you’ll never wear
                lace panties again
This softness around my gutt this ass
The ways in which my body will never recoup

A warm indigo saturation
Her voice new and beating against my temples
                escapes my open mouth
shaped like the oh oh oh
of eggs boiling on the stove


I slice through a fingernail and call out
          then swallow it then clean up the mess.
The thick muscle of my palm cramps around a knife then a pen then dampens wrapped around a shaft
          purple as if slapped by evening light.
It’s finally dark when I turn myself into a scream.

          Our feathers dance.
          We molt in the rare quiet, just us two.

The skull of an owl succumbs to its eyes. There’s no room
          muscle no space for tendon or nerve.
Their heads pivot. They twist their spine to see to see.
Our eyes are five percent of all that’s inside. We have
more muscle
          than we know how to see with.

My left eye is paralyzed. It trembles.
My spine twists into hollow voiced
          I pivot again and again and again for you.
My voice exits like a winter migration and I close the dishwasher
          like I close my legs around

Repurposing survival tactics.
Redefining lens and hard bone.


an itch of joke. Laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. Are you nervous sitting with your legs open and a bladder full of hypothetical?

Forgive me. I haven’t been sleeping well.

Bleeding sounds like

shades of dark blue that leak from a pubic hair around its follicle. And a forgettable pain my movements make. I can count days. I can count slices of stale bread and neighbors with children and gusts of wind.

Bleeding sounds like

one hour. I lose track of how long I’ve been sliding. I am oopps through plastic tubes. I am an empty cell about to expire. Blood that runs continuously looks like vapor. Blood that pools is the steady sleeping breath of a small thing.

Bleeding sounds like

provide and sustain. The delicate lapping of water. An animal’s tongue on cold steel. I learn how to listen for the first moment. To what turns an origin into a document. That smell of drying mud olive oil freezer burn.

I pull my own hair. Draw blood from the skin at your hips.

Sounds like

a poorly lit waiting room. Humidity. A fogged window releasing a heart with your name inside.