Childhood

Katrina Kaye

Forearms reflect scratches
from childhood tree:

a celebration of skin
still unscathed by the
sting of antiseptic.

The skyline bleeds burgundy
as the sun sighs.

These fire kisses spot the surface
of most precious underbelly,
soft and freckled,

beneath iridescent hues
of motley leaves.

With the voice of a child
fading from my throat,

I ask you how much longer
for pink to flush and fade?
How many eons for cells to gather
upon each other and repair?

I pray for enough
waning light to once again
stretch to tree branch,

gather strength in formative muscles
and pull skyward.

Stars infiltrate the fire in gut,
leaving sky sulking to pitch.

The scratch and bite of brittle bark
recedes to tender touch as I
abandon branches for the
balance of arms.

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

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