Karla Linn Merrifield

#14: Buffalo Girl

Escape from New York, job, marriage
Amtrak back to Buffalo, and Rae—girls’
weekend to prowl the Elmwood Avenue bars.
Didn’t take long to find the pair.

Shoot tequila, start the dance.
Four of us, we closed the place,
4 a.m. in Erie County.
Then off, somewhere, not too far away.

We flipped a coin.
Rae and her squeeze got the bed,
Calvin and I got the sofa—
or as they say in Canada, davenport.

But we had weed, whites (sweet those
amphetamines), and a gallon of Gallo.
Weed, whites, and wine.
Was he good in bed?

I have no recollection.
But I kind of fell in love with him.
Calvin saw me off at the train station.
We took each other’s picture

on my Kodak Instamatic.
I have both photos, still.
He who is stoic in aviator glasses.
She who is wistful in a corduroy sport coat.

Étude 1-31-20: No Flags Flying Physiologically

Truth: Fingers do not contain muscles.
(Those miniscule goose-bump-pumping ones don’t apply.)
Thus my yet-wimpy la main sinistre grips
Boner’s fretboard to place pressure on his, ouch, newish
six-pack of strings as if for four-digit yoga stre-e-e-etches.
I am reaching in a practice exercise, developing dactyl tissue,
reaching, courtesy of thews in my palm, in my forearm,
ably reaching through to tippy-tips (capable
of functioning independently!) in fibrous flexion;
and in which tendons, too, do adroitly abet my novice efforts;
and (o, holy anatomy!) phalangeal osseous matter—bones
at the very end of my instrumental body—

find you and me seeking these precision movements
in space and time, in this space, this time.

Karla Linn Merrifield, a nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, has had 900+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the newly released full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. Her Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing) received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is a frequent contributor to The Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, and assistant editor and poetry book reviewer emerita for The Centrifugal Eye. She is a member of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), the Florida State Poetry Society, the New Mexico Poetry Society, and The Author’s Guild: https://www.karlalinnmerrifield.org/; blog at: https://karlalinnmerrifeld.wordpress.com/; Tweet at @LinnMerrifield; Instagram: Log In or Sign Up to View.