Do you understand I destroy every fragment of lavender I touch?

I swallow lavender—soak my wrists in lavender. I take the tiny bulbs.
I slice them with a wooden blade. I toss them in the bell. I throw
them in each pot. I breathe lavender. Exude—elude you with lavender.

I throw lavender into our air, and I catch it before the cat does.
A slushy gnashing plume floats free.

And you former brothers have no scope of how the air of a freefall feels.

Nothing below to catch this flowered fire or flesh.
Out somnolence. It lives on my pillow—plus pith and mugwort.
You triad of self-aggrandizement. You, previous lovers, have

all decided what I am constructed of. Think broken floorboards. Think
violent missives. Think blasting furnace. Think lies—not scent
molting to slumber. Have stripped

choice, love, reality from me—have quieted this perennial brute.

Do you know: my heart is the muscle that wrings itself
into bloodborne washbasin—lightly

strewn into witching hour into favor—into bay
leaves—into the wrathful milk
of gorged-for-days goats on a swirling moon.

I crush you with burnt fingertips—sprays
and spikes—our floating detritus
of former affection.

“Photograph – by A.J. Campbell, Victoria, circa 1900” by A.J. Campbell 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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