Insomnia & My Mother by Meggie Royer

Natalie Chyi
Photo courtesy of Natalie Chyi

Yeah I’ve got a backbone that can’t decide between

being its namesake and being a wishbone.

My whole life I’ve been pulling the shorter end,

bringing home more men than my mother has ever known

in her entire life, up the stairs and into my bed

until she finally falls asleep.

Yeah the bottle is a heavy draw

but sometimes the wine is just what I need

to go soft beneath a man’s palms instead of holding this body

like a bundle of spears.

When was the last time I didn’t wake up wishing my lungs

had been carried away by a flock of birds

in my sleep? Or that the tooth fairy

had stolen silently in through my window

and plucked out my heart,

mistaking it for a bloody tooth lodged in my chest cavity?

My mother warned me against everyone I take to bed

but loneliness is a hard bullet to dodge.





Meggie RoyerMeggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, Winter Tangerine Review, Chanter Literary Magazine, Literary Sexts Volume 1, Hooligan Magazine, and Rib Cage Chicago Literary Magazine. In March 2013 she won a National Gold Medal for her poetry collection and a National Silver Medal for her writing portfolio in the 2013 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.


Natalie Chyi is an 18-year-old from Hong Kong who has recently moved to London, where she will be studying law for the next three years. She started photography to capture moments and pretty things/people/light/scenes as she sees them, and that idea is what continues to fuel all of her work. Find more of her work on, Facebook, or Tumblr.

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