Kari Flickinger

The Mariana

It is three AM and that v of lights on the closet mirror
is converging into another (geese in flight)
v (such honking as cast feathers cascade
from the ceiling) that is 
projected by bedside gadgets. I watch
lights creep with the hour.
My pillow keeps court in the chasm
of the bookshelf bedframe and the mattress
which is smart enough to watch 
as I shirk sleep through the night.
I cannot breathe when I lie in our bed or attempt
the act of sleep through the clamorous 
slumbermoaning gales of man and cat.
Sound is the vitrified grey fog and foam found in the
depths of our polluted ocean of understanding.
Though lavender is calming, tea might fix in the throat 
with honey—it might also not fix the former
honeyed throat 
in the quantum fixation 
of space. In this
I have no advice. Nothing new to tell you. No wisdom 
other than, I think trying
to breathe from a prone state is useless.
One might weigh breathing over all
functioning systems. Once I went without 
sleep for four days and
crashed my car into a mailbox
at the end of a patterned ditch.

Watchful Tree and Pinking Rose
prickle in
the thimble like an over worn dress
handed down from a family tree
           not mine
own have seen the glory of the
cymbal in the garden
the birch eye minding
the dress tatters
shrinks in his hands
though favorable, well
           thought easy
in flat field
           I, not-mine
ease of success
they planted them closest to the hilltop
where the sun could reach down
pluck the warm flush
from a cheek
five homes
and she lies about each
i write your eyes all over me
silver streaming
bundles bobbins
spools and reels
drive out the old year
in singing you to me
hallow, emerge
emergent, devolve evolver
            bundle, you
bound cow, climb
the ribbons with each
finger, decide which
            color, which eyes
you will heal over and hold.