Karla Linn Merrifield

 for David Richter 

This next artifact is three long
pages in the longhand
of longing
ballpoint black on unlined blue vellum, all along
in curvaceous cursive, every long
        I underscored, every short i neatly dotted
her precise passion of long
       ago has been photocopied, and grayscaled to draw
            attention to words penned edge to edge,
            little room to accommodate marginalia.
            Who would have known she would grow
            up to be an annotated Aphrodite sporting
            neon-yellow highlighted lines— emphatic
about where lies her absorbing need to belong?
Love letter at long
last is interpreted in a long, long
         nanosecond: Desire is left-handed
with long


A nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, KARLA LINN MERRIFIELD has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which are Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Mercury Heartlink) and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Forthcoming from FootHills is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye (, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society and TallGrass Writers Guild. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at