Bird

Katrina Kaye

I would love
to catch you
for a moment,

like an
inconsequential lie,
a fallen bird
I can teach again to fly,

and when you are
basking in your own sun,
send me a postcard
of the life you’ve won.

With scrawled note
telling me
you don’t need me anymore.

With scrawled signature
saying
Thank you.

“Bird” is previously published in To Anyone Who Has Ever Loved a Writer (2014).

Hemingway’s Curse

Katrina Kaye

My mind creeps over you with the thin legs
of a moth. You are unmarked, intent on
your stare, the same seriousness all men
believe they have, but you…
You pull it off.

This is the night you cried on me;
do you remember?

You sob silent from the chair in your
living room, ask if you are doomed,
fated to stiff drink and solitude.
Ask if one day, you will hold barrel to
temple, as your father did and his
before. Ancestral curse shrouds shoulders.

I offer no answers
and you have run out of words.
As I rise to leave, you clutch my arm,
say, “don’t go.” And I stay.
Your eyes have a way of making me
stay.

This is not a novel; not a news reel in
black and white; not a story a thousand
times told. It is between you and me.
It’s a memory;
do you remember?

We are not lovers, only oddly shaped
friends, forever awkward with each other,
but there is something about that night,
the questions confided, the grip on my
arm, the tear running unabashedly down cheek,
that made me realize I am necessary.

“Hemingway’s Curse” is previously published in Catching Calliope Vol 4, 2014.

Enamored

Katrina Kaye

Kiss my cheek,
a stolen stroke.
The one on the lips,
an enticing request.

I know well the metallic
taste of boundaries.
This mouth,
often denied its hunger.

But tonight,
I am too drunk,
too enamored.
I want to give you a thimble:
memento of me.
Press it in your hand
till it marks your skin.
A subtle indentation,
a tangible reminder,
like the leather I wear
around my ankle,
of the kiss I’ve given.

We could slink into bed,
feel tongue, teeth, tickle.
Your hand on my spine,
salty sweat on navel,
thumb to hip bone.

Or we can just lay beside each other,
my arm draped across your body.
Fingertips graze jawbone,
lips skim fine hairs on shoulder.
We can pretend we are lovers.

Either way,
you will not see me in the morning.
I would like the night to be,
and although it would be sweet,
to retongue last goodbyes
and reform promises,

some revisions aren’t meant to be made.
Some words shouldn’t be taken back.

“Enamored” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014) and Connotation Press (2013).

The Perfect Words

Katrina Kaye

Silence is a language
and body movements play
an undecipherable song.

Despite the transparency of eyelashes
and the patience of statues,
the unsaid creates doubt.

Forgive me,
I am unable to think and speak at the
same time. I am unable to travel backwards
and identify the words I should have said,
the perfect words.

I am most insightful when I am silent.

I am not gentle with those that are
most precious to me. If I was,
I would be able to recite the verses
that fill my mouth when our glances meet.

If I was,
I would translate languages
from movement and shades of cheeks.
I would weave words
of gold and trophy. I would
serve security on a silver plate
that never knew tarnish.

Instead
frostbitten hands grope
and feel nothing.
Instead
the marbles in my mouth
choke me silent.

“The Perfect Words” is previously published in To Anyone Who Has Ever Loved a Writer (2014).