You Swallow a Super Moon and a Doctor You Have Never Met Prescribes Prednisone

by Kari Flickinger

A golf ball was never 
large enough to describe how
this misshapen throat could suddenly stop 
my sound. A baseball! I tell
the receiver—the cell phone
because there are no receivers 

other than a person receiving the 
waves through a block of plastic
gears I hold to the side
of my head. Nobody knows 
what happens inside 
the cell phone. It’s modern magic.

Last week I 
courted the moon from a stop sign.
Someone honked behind me—I
gestured at the sky. The sky. You idiot.
The moon. My god—this moon.

Winnowing—wide. She thrusts 
cruelty through me.
She lodges. I swallow her
in my sleep—this moon.

I tell the operator—I tell the kaiser doctor. 
My wrist has this tell—the catscratch 
on my ring finger. That cat is
trying to take my ring finger clean off.
This is payback. Universal.

I hate it when people say the universe 
has favored them in some way—I say
‘the universe’ all the time and 
I chide myself
for nonsense—a universe does not
decide to reach down from being
and arrange my specific stars.

Cliché clicks up there 
in the crescent ten percent
of my brain usage. If you do not
use it—you will
lose it—I whisper to my ring 
the ring I rarely wear. She cuts 
my hand. Like the cat.

I tell the operator. I tell 
the phone—doctor
I have a catscratch. She tells me
she has a kitten with sharp claws.
She tells me

sharp claws nick your hand—it might
take time to heal because 
there is such 
small circulation 
in the universe of the fingers—in
the throat of this moon.

Cruel moon stalks—so
bright. Bright. She is too 
too cutting—climbs
down from the universe—into my throat
she wields throat—6

pills in the morning—six pills in the evening—6
pills in the morning—six pills in the evening
6 pills in the mourning—six pills
and repeat and five—then five—then four—then four—then 
three—o three—her two—too—two she is two two—two
one and one and one.

Photo by Sven Vee on Unsplash