My fire at your clavicle—I balance
above milk.

I was broad and fair—longingly
I looped my maiden’s neck.

Men wrote me off as worn
stones—stripped me of my name.

A vast leg of amber—lost
to time’s cold reduction.


He wanted me—borrowed.
Never. Blue—bruised.

The great ash hall hid
under loving wings.

The sea beasts swelled, gnashed
their teeth—roughly against my metal.

The snake who ingested his own
tail—encircled. Lengthened.

Though well-hooked, he lost me
to grey depths.

The beast who focuses his gnash on himself
loses all sustenance.


“dead snake head”by bschmitt99 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

Kari A Flickinger

Kari A. Flickinger's poetry has been published in or is forthcoming from Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Burning House Press, Door Is A Jar, Isacoustic, Ghost City Review, Eunoia Review, and Riddled with Arrows, among others. She is an alumna of UC Berkeley. When she is not writing, she can be found playing guitar and singing to her unreasonably large Highlander cat, as well as obsessively over-analyzing the details of neighboring trees.

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