Recall has become an affliction. The early years are
like-claws in the dark waves of rotating temples.
Their gait subtracts, and twists up there
in not-sleep, behind a sleep-mask
I am told is supposed to assist.
What matters withers, like a thirty-six-hour-old
death-bloom, corpse-flower, I have lost
traction with the winged crowd.
I expand to strained myth and shrink from
familiar fingers. I cannot stand touch, the smalls
of home. I need immersion in the salt of unknown
skin, it is a sickness.
This timid eye-glassed owl fed strange affections
to the ravenous beast chewing on her sensory core.
Years of unfolding as paper envelope with
too-wet glue turns the body into mache mush, into
unbelievable mountain floating in a speckled vacuum.
Home, reduced to a floating blue marble below, with hope
he moves from parietal to hippocampus, mars
memory. He whispers, what is round may roll away.
Kari A. Flickinger was a 2019 nominee for the Rhysling Award, and a finalist in the IHLR 2018 Photo Finish. Her poetry was published in Written Here, Riddled with Arrows, BHP, Door-Is-A-Jar, Ghost City Review, and Mojave Heart Review among others. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley. When not writing, she plays guitar to her unreasonably large Highlander cat. Find her: kariflickinger.com @kariflickinger.