Karla Linn Merrifield has had 900+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies, with 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. She is currently at work on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; the book is slated to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY). Web site: https://www.karlalinnmerrifield.org/;
blog at https://karlalinnmerrifeld.wordpress.com/;
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When in Florida, I Visit the Kingdom of Charmed Lives
By day, welcome elliptically-winged zebra
butterflies flicker quick shadows across my arms;
by night, creatures of the new moon in varied dark
manner commune: horned owl, cricket, tree frog,
pig frog— hoot hoot hoot
chirrrrrrrrr chirrrrrrrrr thrum-thrum
twang-twang— in unison from a frog’s leafy house.
They prepare me for the arrival of armadillos,
angels of the Cenozoic, the Aztec’s turtle-rabbit
of footfall crackle, sand snuffle, whisper, snort.
Lo, my enchanted Dasypus novemcintus appears.
No, not the screaming hairy armadillo,
not the pink fairy armadillo,
but mine own nine-banded armadillo granting
her nine warm-blooded Caloosahatchee wishes.
My first: a sip at the fountain of youth for her kind,
to cure their leprosy, Ponce’s curse since 1513.
May your armor be charmed nine times over.