Things You Didn’t Realize by Kathryn Merwin


Photo courtesy of Amanda Mabel
Photo courtesy of Amanda Mabel


I. There was no one to kiss your mouthful of yeses,
so you drank too much rum and slept in the tub.

II. There was something familiar in the whites of his eyes.
You thought about taking him home, folding him into your sheets,
but where would you run in the morning?
You cannot make homes between people’s bones.

III. You broke a wine glass in your hands just to see the color of your blood.
Snatched your underwear from his tangled white sheets.
Set soft feet upon the floor and hoped he wouldn’t wake.
You belong to no one.

IV. You knew there was nothing to the arithmetic of loving him —
no need to show work or double check calculations.
Besides, you were always terrible at math.
It seemed like a safe bet.

V. He kept you on your knees and never looked you in the eye,
but even when you were thinking about dropping out of school,
dropping out of life, and drinking too much,
you still breathed fire.

VI. He woke the terrifying parts of you.
Made you rage and scream and bite your knuckles,
kicked the legs out from beneath you, and ordered you to be silent,
be less, always to be less of what you were.

VII. You let him leave with burns on his ankles
because you are a dragon. No man alive could dowse your flame.




Kathryn MerwinKathryn Merwin is a native of Washington, D.C., and a senior at Salisbury University, pursuing her B.A. in Creative Writing and her B.F.A. in Drawing. She loves English Bulldogs, floral arrangement, and collecting blankets. She is currently putting together her first collection of poetry and hopes one day to become a novelist.



Amanda Mabel is a fashion and portrait photographer living in Sydney, Australia. Originally from Singapore, she moved to Perth in 2011, then Sydney in 2012. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) (Honours) at the University of Sydney. In her free time, she loves taking photographs, travelling to beautiful places, and drinking tea. She also happens to blog for Vogue Australia Spy Style. She maintains a website at and can be found on:  Instagram  Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Tumblr  Bloglovin Flickr.

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.



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