KARLA LINN MERRIFIELD
Thumb pressed on another plastic bubble, she pushed The Pill through its thin blue aluminum barrier, popped it, swallowed. On the next, 22nd morning of this ritual, she stuck that thumb out in the road & hitchhiked 300 to Albany U., arrived at a dorm room doorstep in January ’71 ready to do dope, do the dirty, & really rock & roll again with her childhood boyfriend cum pre-med freshman.
He ripped her open all right, our grass-anesthetized patient spread wide on a cot. Then he confessed coolly, oops, he’d operated on another female body; he couldn’t wait to wait as he’d promised through another few nights of hard yearning. So she shed her virginity herself & a single carnelian tear slipped to the pillowcase, one blood-orange sun rising on her future.
Immediately she stuck that thumb in the wet, bruised mouth he had just opened. Then, she really went to town.
Karla Linn Merrifield, a nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, has had 1000+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 15 books to her credit. Her newest full-length poetry book, My Body the Guitar, was published by Before Your Quiet Eyes Holograph Series in December 2021. Visit her website: https://karlalinnmerrifield.org/. And sign up for her blog at: https://wordpress.com/post/karlalinnmerrifeld.wordpress.com.