Rikki Santer


The train like a wailing pronoun in the dark breath of night
when quarantine responds to quarantine and I ask myself
how do I get from here to the rest of the world
or scale a kinder incline beyond the black noise
above this jittery, jumbled ground
my eyes rheumy with incessant news, my lips dry
from the briny kiss of pundits
words gather to call upon landscape
sleep a foreigner who keeps me up under a swollen moon
weary of suggestions for further study
pregnant glossary of regrets
and I am wedded
to my weary couch denuded in its binocular view
the braying train again in periphery
its skein of myth and fable trailing behind
spectral thresholds blinded by the winds
a wolverine in my lap
skulls dangle from trees
this tasseled place dead air
of press conference somewhere between scorched earth
and uncharted territory
train cars stuffed with undersongs of tarnished narrative
clouds pinched across the midnight sky

Rikki won an out-of-county Honorable Mention. Landmark is featured in our first official book publication, In the Quarantined Room: Reflections on the COVID-19 Experience in Indian River County, FL 2020. To find out more about the book and to purchase a copy, click here.

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