Sun

Katrina K Guarascio

Your world is
absent of light.
Dust reflected in
rare brightness only to
disappear behind
western vista.

Enveloped in gloom,
you watch from thick shadows
the world succumbing to the dim,
you fade
in the dusk.

If I promise
to follow you
into the night,
take your path
away from the sun
and wrap myself
in your darkness,

will you sit with me,
fingers interlaced with my own,
and watch the sun rise?

“Sun” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).

Orchard

Katrina K Guarascio

I’ve passed this place
a thousand times,
but this is the first
I’ve bothered to pluck
fruit from tree and
allow it to squeeze in
my palm. I swat flies
from eyes. They have
a tendency to hover here;
eager for sweetness, they
block my view, twist sight
into kaleidoscope. I have
spent my life resisting
the sugar that sticks between
tiny hairs which litter
my thighs; but now, I
am learning how to cover
my tracks. To slip secret
through yard and wet my lips
on the ripe. I have never
been one for proper manners.
I wade into orchard,
follow the sound of the
records your mother spins
from house. Wail along
to the deep voice which
balloons through the trees.
No one feels hunger in
quite the same way.

“Orchard” is previously published in Chasing Rabbits (2014).

There’s a Girl

Katrina K Guarascio

There’s a girl
at the Route 66 gas station
asking for change.

You don’t have any,
but you offer to buy
her a soda on your credit card
as you pay for a pack of cigarettes
and a cup of coffee.

She is grateful,
says that’s all she really needs.

She’s with her mother,
a tired, silent woman,
grey hair greased to scalp,
sitting on the curb out front.
The old woman never speaks.

This girl has tattoos on her neck,
one by her eye.
Amateur ink scribbled
by shaking hands.

She’s thanks you again,
says she has make up to sell,
nose rings,
other small snatchable items
that seep out of her pocket.

You listen,
you refuse.

She won’t let you leave till you
take a bottle of nail polish
in gratitude.
It’s a color you will never wear.

You know her,
this girl,
with the too thin limbs
and chapped lips.

You almost were her
once.
Asking for change,
grateful for just a kind reply.

You still feel ashamed
for all you had,
that you let slip away.

She asks for a ride.
You lie and say you’re going the other way.
She nods, smiles,
knows where your line sticks.
Your eyes reflect each other
as both recognized the person
you could have become.

“There’s a Girl” is previously published in Chasing Rabbits (2014).

Collapse

Katrina K Guarascio

I had a poem
on my tongue
when I closed
my eyes.

It was stolen
by sleep.

A tiny collapse
of dreams
and empires,
only grand
because of its
destruction.

“Collapse” is previously published in Rabbit for Luck (2016).