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  You could have a big dipper   

Zones (for Rod Sterling) by Rikki Santer

flashlight off the shelf

through the woods

inside the cave

spotlight under chin





snaps back


for your consideration

shut your eyes

for wishes errant

for frame shifters

for deep-dished what if

what next

what now

just who are the people you nod

your hellos to

I’m Talking Tina

and I’m going to kill you

how thin the line

between real and mind

how thin the plug

that drains clarity

the shell around brutality

the answer why

the memory of Earth

the cool hand

to brush

over tired eyes

find the zipper

in the gremlin’s suit

without our masks

we are caricatures

cannonaded by lies

shelled by insecurity

straddled by humiliation

targeted by isolation

blown clean apart

living in dead run

no salvation signpost

up ahead


made by earthlings

something else


Rikki Santer’s poetry has received many honors including five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.Her next, full-length collection, How to Board a Moving Ship, is forthcoming from Lily Poetry Review Books. Please contact her through her website:

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