83 Readings | 2 Ratings

Northern Flicker

The snow whispers a lesson

in letting go. The leaves

are shouting

from brown and gold

to green and greener. They fall

clear up into the sky. The flicker

flares so brightly I can hear

in my dark the flame he carries

underwing, diving from pine

to ash. I drink myself dumb

on the back porch, wait all

evening for the spark to leap

from that damned flicker.

When it does, it lands

in my cocktail hissing

against the ice just as you call

to say you wish

I had driven over. Temptation

speeds across the state, slams

head-on into my slur.

Now hear me search for and

curse the landmarks in my dark.

Listen to the radio signal

break apart. I’m roaring off

into a midnight blackout.   

Posted 05/29/16
First published in Paper Nautilus.
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