When you consider a pitch to end all pitches, a pitch for angels some say, for what materializes in the dusty corners of your apartment, a pitch as delicate as Shantung Silk carried across ocean in satchels underneath the ruby throats of birds, then your perfumed scarf will touch down upon a vestibule’s tapestry rug and proclaim the final exit. How euphemisms spiral into themselves as our pendulums slow, and cantankerous static clings to our nose hairs. How we want to chew the date off our ticket to the Imperial Lounge and just keep rolling around a lush field, olly olly oxen free. How we yearn to get drunk on cocktails of instant smiles and cellular serums, our pinkies tapping our lips. How we limit, to a parakeet mirror, our scavenger hunts for wrinkles and dearly pay to have done what alchemists do with plastic. Death will launch the trajectory of our accumulating selfies and leave us with our monkey minds godsmacked like undigested bits of beef. So wag your tongue all you want at that grandfather clock and swath your phone in a crochet shawl to muffle calls from the grave. Branch shadows will play upon your sleeping face and your scarab ring, too loose now for your fingers, will twang to the floor. No such place as exactly what happened.

Rikki Santer’s poetry has appeared in publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Slab, [PANK], Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, Grimm, Hotel Amerika and The Main Street Rag. Her honors include five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eighth collection,  Drop Jaw, inspired by the art of ventriloquism, was published this past spring by NightBallet Press.