For Amanda

Katrina Kaye

When I learned someone I love killed herself,
the first thing I think is where I was when it happened.

I think about the last
thing I said to her and how many days
ago I said it. I realize how trivial words are.

The next thing I do is picture the scene as described.
I can see it to the smallest detail, the sweat on her palm,
the quiver of lips, and the dust on window ledge.
I can clearly imagine the cat hair left on the carpet
as the last thing you saw as you rested head to floor.

Amanda,
you were never much of a house cleaner.

It’s not long before
I start playing the what ifs,
the untuned strings of what happened,
what I should have said,
where I should have been.

Amanda, I did not answer the phone the last time you called.
I didn’t stay for one more drink after your insistent invite.

Amanda, I didn’t know your favorite color
and I can’t remember the name of your cat.
I didn’t know you spent your last birthday
alone at a bar waiting for friends who never showed.

But I remember the night we jumped the fence
and walked through the graveyard
passing a bottle between us.
You taught me the name of each of the twelve moons
and laughed at me when I forgot the lines to my favorite song.

Amanda,
The last time I saw you,
you grabbed my arm and said thank you.
Told me of the ten people you
called this evening I was the only one who called back,
I was the only one who showed up.

I know what it’s like to feel that alone,
to summon the courage to send a message
only to receive no reply.
I know the disappointment of misplaced loyalty.
I, too, confuse friendships with propaganda
and a kind smile for a kind heart.

Amanda,
I wasn’t there that night.
I didn’t follow the crumbs,
didn’t decode your hints,
I wasn’t there to save you.

But you should know,
that was the only time.

Because, now, every day
I mouth the words I should have said.
Every time I reach out I pull
your body next to mine.
I have been your champion,
your savior, every time I close
my eyes for the last 217 nights.

But you aren’t around to see the sizes of my heart.
You are gone and if you gave the foresight
to wave your flag in my direction,
I was looking the other way.

Amanda, did no one tell you the definition
of your name is “worthy of love?”
Did no one tell you “you are loved?”
Would it have mattered?
Was your mind already made up?
I don’t know if there is anything I could have done
to truly make a difference,
but I do know
I would give anything to have answered that call,
to hear you laugh at me again.
to stay for one more drink.

“For Amanda” is previously published in Anti Heroin Chic, December 2018.

Murder Your Darlings

Katrina Kaye

My intention
was never to tattoo
your stanza against
breast bone,

but now I feel I
must shed you
from this poem
completely.

Slice you free.

You were never
much for poetry
anyway.

“Murder Your Darlings” is previously published in September (2014)

Did you enjoy this read? Did it remind you of a person that may also enjoy it? Feel free to share this and any work on the website with those who you may enjoy it. I only ask to be credited for the work. You are also invited to subscribe to the blog. 

If you want a little more, consider picking up a copy of the book September which it is published in. Click HERE to find it on Amazon, or special order it from any independent bookstore across the United States.

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Anymore

Katrina K Guarascio

She stopped playing the cello.
She can no longer
spread her legs wide enough,
not for that long.
Can’t remember
how that melody
licked from spidery fingers,
or how the notes
sprung, then yawned loudly
across any empty room.
She can’t remember how she did it.

“Anymore” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).

After You Left

Katrina Kaye

I hung your shadow outside my window,
so hopefully you would come to retrieve it.

I was always more your Wendy
than your mermaid.

My scales never stuck to your skin
and my name easily escaped your mind,
leaving me to wonder
if you ever really knew me.

I gave you my thimble too soon,
a clever kiss and nothing more,
too eager for the fondness of a new boy.

I was more your Wendy than your fairy friend.
My hands too soft for metal work,
my body too large for just one emotion.

But you,
you were always my Peter.
Cock-sure, congratulating your cleverness,
miss minded and forgetful

Your attentions waver,
but your affection your loyalty
was as stubborn as a child’s lower lip.

You stayed up all night in front of my door
hand on your dagger, spark in your eye
knowing from the curl of smoke
mischief was about.

But I never asked you to fight my battles.
You never had to win me;
I was always yours.

After all, it was the kiss
you left on my chest that saved my life.

I want to be your fierce friend,
your clever cousin,
dance with you on high rocks,
without fear of falling.

Listen to your first laugh
like a child watching soap bubbles pop.

Let that laugh linger
on your breath for eternity,
even if it means leaving you
to your own adventures.

Too many years have passed.
You have forgotten me.
Left me sitting beside
a window in my new dress.

And I,
I have forgotten how to fly.

I became a woman
two days before every other girl.
I no longer listen for your crow.
You have become nothing
more than dust on old toys.
I grew up despite my childish promises.

This woman’s voice no longer knows
how to speak to such a boy.

But I’ll still think of you
in that place between sleeping and awake,
where we still remember dreaming.

Your shadow waits upon window sill.

Come,
reclaim it,

before returning to
your wandering island,
trailing
my childhood
and best intentions
in a shimmering wake.

“After You Left” is previously published in Leaves of Ink (2013), They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011), and September (2014).

Did you enjoy this read? Did it remind you of a person that may also enjoy it? Feel free to share this and any work on the website with those who you may enjoy it. I only ask to be credited for the work. You are also invited to subscribe to the blog. 

If you want a little more, consider picking up a copy of the book September which it is published in. Click HERE to find it on Amazon, or special order it from any independent bookstore across the United States.