This cycle ends in thirty years. If we could
shift to love. Shift our winding guts.
Shift to crickets instead of honey.

Shift to non-cow, to vegetation
to pumpkin, corn. The original
banana—to coconut, olive—not almond.

Close our mouths until
the shrieking inside our gorged
bellies learns to subside.

Palm hands, instead of hammers.
Stretch out limbs, lungs, love

to every open-all-night
marble, blue—thumbed across a small

square to you. A heaving potshot to a
shared sky—we could

stretch our subsistence.

Kari Flickinger’s poetry and short stories have been published in or are forthcoming from Written Here: The Community of Writers Poetry Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Moonchild Magazine, Quiet Storm, Panoply, Milk Journal, Susurrus, Falcon Scratch, The Daily Californian, and The Inquirer (Diablo Valley College). She is an alumna of UC Berkeley.

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