Photograph

Katrina Kaye

We were captured
black and white,
careless grins
flyaway hair,
back when it was easy
to love
only each other.

Strange how pure
a photograph can be.

If that picture wasn’t
black and white
it would showcase your hair,
red orange
like phoenix feathers,

the straps of green dress
emerald against skin
too white to have ever been
stroked by sunlight.

Instead of all those shades of grey,
you would have been
bright, star shine;
the amber of eyes,
reckless flecks of gold
against locks of flame
surrounding temples;
painted red lips
upon raw teeth
creating a smile too big
to hide the laughter
brimming from throat.

I can’t help but think of the face
I left there.
Smeared smile in
black and white.

The way you looked at me.
The moment
cut
captured.

I was oblivious of your
lashes and longing.
Helpless to the inevitable
fading of photographs.

You were crafted to sparkle.
I was too blinded by
your brilliance to notice
your eyes
only for me.

“Photograph” is previously published in The fall of a Sparrow (2014).

One Night Thing

Katrina Kaye

When I come home
to an empty house,

the only remnant of you
a crumpled sheet

and empty coffee cup,
it is not sadness

or remorse that weighs
in my gut.

More a hollowness,
like catching a green and yellow bird

in the palm of hand
and holding it just long enough

to learn his name from black eyes,
before letting go.

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

Your Ghost

Katrina Kaye

When I wake
your ghost is sitting
on the bedroom window sill.
The one the dog chewed through
that we never got around to fixing.

She plucks teeth marks with pale fingers,
glancing through the corners of eyes
pretending not to follow my movements.

She watches me rise,
and I resist the urge to tell her to look away
as I slip into robe and socks.

The last time I asked her to make me some coffee,
her face blackened to sorrow before she faded away.

I do not ask her for anything anymore.

Your ghost does not frighten me.
I am not the least bit startled when I see her
passing me in the hall,
drinking from the carton,
laying on the couch in the dim of morning.

I catch her staring a little too long,
stainless gray iris reflecting my face.
Unconditional patience woven
into the tangle of veins in the length of her reach,
wanting nothing more than the
contentment of touch.

She does not glare at the Spanish moss
webbed from regrets that hang
along my limbs.

She does not acknowledge
the crust of contrition
I have manifested inside
the lines of my face.
She sees me precious, unsullied,
as she promised she always would.

As an act of atonement,
an apology for my life after your death,
an attempt to weave back into you,
I’ve wrapped your ghost
around my body like loose ribbons,

desperate
to recreate your arms snaked around me,
to feel your exhale on the crook of my neck,
to taste the pulp of your skin with the plum of lip,

wanting nothing more
than the contentment
of touch.

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

Fish

Katrina Kaye

You beg.

Flip around
dry earth,
crunch up
stretch out.

Your eyes
swim
screams.

Large,
unblinking,
desperate to
understand.

I watch
sore and silent.
Knowing how
touch is
foil to freedom.

My darling,
please breach
the soil
of the solid
and return
to river bed.
And when you do,
take me with you.

We all ache
for rescue.
Easily confused by
the comfort of
trembling hands.

I too
am often
left to dry
on sun cracked rocks
skinned of scales
left to my bones.

You are not
the only one.

“Fish” is previously published in Rabbits for Luck (2016).