Upon Waking

Katrina Kaye

I slide into hot
afternoon, the heat
slipping between us,
your lips devouring mine,
bodies distorting
against one another.

Perhaps it was just sex.

An outburst
of frustration and
pent up aggression,
of teeth and tongues,
cock and cunt,
quiver and croon,
a moan of name
under a roar
of profanities as
I let myself cum
again and again
all over you.

Perhaps it signified
nothing.

This morning
I wake alone,
but there was a
moment between
then and now where
you held me
as my naked body
shivered in the
cast of the afternoon
sun, sweat drying
on navel, your arm
supporting the nape
of my neck.

There is a
piece of me,
a shard,
thin and silver,
precious and frail,
I left behind

and allowed
you to keep.

“Upon Waking” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in 2012.

Click here to order my verse, from Bookworks ABQ, an independent bookstore for only 10$.

Safe as Houses

Katrina Kaye

You are not my last resort;
I just didn’t have anywhere else to go.

You allow me access to
the far side of your leather chair
and reluctantly gather your grandmother’s
folded quilt and spare pillow from hall closet,
stale and stiff from lack of use.

My intention is not to reclaim
the former comfort of the living room
we once shared, nor reminisce
the passing of a romance which outlasted
its welcome.

It has been a long time
since you have found
my endearments in the form
of wet towels on the floor
or shoes left in the hallways.

But you don’t have to love me anymore
to let me sleep on your couch.

I can cook you breakfast
without imagining your fingers
sulking the lip of my jeans
and I can pretend there
was never a time my body
folded like paper under your fingers
as I sit across the table from you.

We can deny the last two years
of pelting rocks against plaster walls
until they were unable to hold up the home
we painstakingly pieced together.

We can pretend we don’t
remember the full moon we crushed
into a single stone that shone greater
than the sun when held in our cupped hands.

Despite the comfort of the way you
arch your eyebrow and the familiarity
of my name on your tongue,
I know how it will end.

I’ve seen this episode more than once.

It is only for a couple of days
till my feet stand sober,
until I can find a shelter for tired eyes,
a place to boil my water.

Soon we will resume our steps
in opposite directions,

and brick our skeletons
into the wall where their
rattle will eventually
shudder to a bare tremor.

“Safe as Houses” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in 2012.

Click here to order my verse… from an independent bookstore today!

Wing

Katrina Kaye

She stretches out,
lifting and lowering,
attempting to blend into background.

The magnificence of blue wing
is impossible to hide.
It is why they watch.

But she has an under coating,
dark brown spots and fine fur
blends to oak bark.

If she holds wings erect,
as opposed to flat,
she materializes to earth.

When she closes
herself to the sun,
like a brilliant iris
hidden by eyelid,
she becomes
her own.

The sparkle of blue metallic,
the flash and grab against sunlight,
is not her downfall,
it is what draws them,

but it is her underside,
the plain spots of ordinary wing
that keep her
free.

“Wing” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in 2012.

On the Third Day

Katrina Kaye

I let myself bleed and
smeared derangements
over upturned lips,
but you loved me anyway.

Hard,

with a fist and a curse word,
taking no tenderness with this tear,
paying no attention to fresh stitches.

You murked in my puddles
as if you were used to the rain.

As if it was nothing new to wipe
fresh red from blue vein.

You didn’t let me sleep.

You were up before dawn
trying me on like a new shirt,
seeing how I stretched around you.

Thin skin over muscle and bone.

How pretty this human suit looks
when it is crumbled on the floor,
never given a moment to bend
into my own shape,
easier to just twist around you in the dark.

On the third day
you left me for dead,
dragged my body to your favorite roadside diner
propped me up in a shallow booth,
adjusted my arms and face
as though they still beat blood
paid for runny eggs and burnt toast.
Your treat;
your turn.

These sleeves were just long enough
to cover the bruises on my wrists,
this hair just straight enough
to hide the bags under my eyes.

You took a moment to smooth my lipstick,
with a tender thumb.

“On the Third Day” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014) by Swimming with Elephants Publications and The Legendary Issue 39.