Two Poems by Karla Linn Merrifield


My dead husband gets in on our carnal act:
how exquisite the hot-hot-heat stirred with wit,

his blissful lesson imprinted on my clit.
This dead husband of mine left me richly

endowed with the visceral certainty—
laughter lubricates the imagination.

Surely the dear dead husband of this libido-
mad merry widow chortles—

my womanhood
in mirth.


19 Pillows

Only twenty percent of Americans
make their bed every day.
I’m one among that cohort.

I couldn’t not extract books
from covers, plump pillows,
tuck sheets, fluff the comforter.

It’s what one does, has always done,
even if only the dead applaud the habit.
Mom wouldn’t have it any other way,

nor Aunts Gertie and Carole, nor Uncle Karl,
nor, come to think, my departed husband.
I have made my bed.

Now I get to sleep in it.
No one gives a damn with whom.

Karla Linn Merrifield has 14 books to her credit. Following her 2018 Psyche’s Scroll (Poetry Box Select) is the 2019 full-length book Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North from Cirque Press. In early 2021, her Half a World of Kisses will be published by Truth Serum Press (Australia) under its new Lindauer Poets imprint. She is currently at work on a poetry collection, My Body the Guitar, inspired by famous guitarists and their guitars; the book is slated to be published in December 2021 by Before Your Quiet Eyes Publications Holograph Series (Rochester, NY).
Preview image by K. Haskell, an interdisciplinary visual artist, draftsperson, and illustrator.