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Still Any Sky

Kara Knickerbocker

Ask me what holds beauty infallibly, and I’d describe them:

Night drives from Pennsylvania to Florida,

hurling down everlong tired interstates,

the pale blue-green switchbacks of horizon and neon exit signs

reflecting off each other like young brothers playing tag,

or sunrises suspended thirty five thousand feet in the air,

first a honeyed thing then cracked wide open and sizzling

from where I sit in the emergency exit row, on fire with love.

Even the silver swirling storm that caught me mid-walk on the coast,

gray waves crashing back, lost like a prayer for the drowned, still living,

like every merlot moment, hours poured on a stranger’s rooftop in Spain,

and what clouds could smother me more than those

apricot swirls of grief in the mornings alone, the color of quiet

to fading still pink as the tongue in the just-dead deer’s mouth

off a road in the town I grew up in and took you home to,

memories purpling like wine drunk bruises I couldn’t show but name.

God, how the night hurts so pretty into dawn—

how I want so badly to keep it between my teeth

until I can taste fully what’s never been mine.

About the Author

Kara Knickerbocker is the author of the chapbooks, The Shedding Before the Swell (dancing girl press, 2018) and Next to Everything that is Breakable (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from: Poet Lore, HOBART, Levee Magazine, Portland Review, and the anthologies Pennsylvania’s Best Emerging Poets, Crack the Spine, and more. She currently lives in Pennsylvania where she writes with the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University, and co-curates the MadFridays Reading Series. Find her online at and on Twitter: @karaknick.

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