They were spared the details of their son’s rituals.
How the latest raccoon had been found, belly up,
at his girlfriend’s door, its mouth around a red snapdragon.
As a child he dipped leaves in gasoline
to watch their edges ruby & curl.
In Bali, the dead are buried
and then lifted & mourned into fire,
along to the next life.
Always grieving season where he lived.
They remembered, then, how he’d once
swirled his toes into crimson coals,
lips open like a banshee,
& asked where his soul had gone.
Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College. Her poems have previously appeared in Words Dance Magazine, The Harpoon Review and Melancholy Hyperbole among others. She has won national medals for her poetry and a writing portfolio in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and was the Macalester Honorable Mention recipient of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Student Poetry Prize.