Sonnet on I-75https://i2.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Island-4.jpg?fit=1920%2C1081&ssl=119201081Karla Linn MerrifieldKarla Linn Merrifieldhttps://i2.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/larlalinnmerrifield.jpg?fit=96%2C96&ssl=1
Alligator Alley in the dead of October night
is the flat-out loneliest-ever ribbon of highway running
between the lost-gold coasts of my naked heart.
Beneath Orion’s gleam, Everglades’ swamps and sloughs breathe
fresh water across these middle-of-nowhere lanes
as if offering second-breaths for my naked heart.
Under the full Hunter’s Moon, Florida panthers are prowling
razor-barricaded from manslaughter, but a man can crash
right through the barbed concertinas twined ’round my naked heart.
Within bald cypress domes, silence swallows the hissing
Interstate; then, a rarity: in silhouette two parliaments of owls—
one barred, one great—lament the eternal fragility of my naked heart.
Who-who-who hurt you so? Who-who broke your naked heart?
Karla Linn Merrifield, a nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, has had 700+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018Psyche’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 toThe Songs of Eretz Poetry Review, and assistant editor and poetry book reviewer emerita for The Centrifugal Eye.