Lillian Sickler

love spiral, sugar moon

on a bar stool just east of the Mississippi, a beer can
is placed between your legs, some stranger’s fingers
tapping the taut cap until it cracks
Circle K floodlights bleed over the split watermelon grass
the eagles above you
are caught in a love spiral.

no one can determine the exact color of the dog star, your motel neighbors arguing
about dark nebulae, LDN 482, protostar, pollution, picking nectarine skin
out of their sangria.

there are fallen Bovidae on the softened shoulder of the road
headlights tossing like an august sky, like the hurricane that could land
right on top of us, make the whole universe
as quiet as when Dorothy’s house smothered the Wicked Witch of the East

billboards have determined a higher power beyond the storm,
and they call it God. you mention love
you say, lovers in flight have been hanging by each
other’s ankles since Heaven first gorged itself on hope

the flayed, fallen Bovidae on your bitten shoulder
have a kind of pain that one feels
but cannot touch, like pressure behind the eyes.

you lie spread-eagle beneath the shifted contents
of the moon as it gathers within the lower left
edge of its frame. you are calling on God with your bones
full of marrow and meat


Lillian Sickler is an Asian American poet and writer who recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Comparative Literature. Her work can be found in Cosmonauts Avenue, Ghost City Press, Vagabond City, Asterism, and Noble / Gas Quarterly among others. Her microchapbook, Incredibly Close & Perfect was published by Ghost City Press in June 2019. She and her best friend share an orange cat named Laika.

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