Gods and Prophets

Katrina Kaye

Of course
Kerouac
had no fear,
cocaine was
easy to
come by.
Revolution does
not stem
from the sober,
solitary mind,
but from a rebellion
fueled by adrenaline
and endorphins
and synapses,
snap
snap
snapping
like dried up
saplings
and words that
trickle from
numb tongues
faster than white
powder up paper
straw, but does that
give meaning?
purpose?
insight?
On enough blow
anyone can talk to
god or become
a prophet,
on the fifty
second hour we
can all read each
other’s mind.
Kerouac was no
different,
he merely hit
the road,
bummed around,
locked himself
in his cave for three
days and let the
paper fly from
typewriter.

“Gods and Prophets” is previously published in Roi Faineant Literary Press (2021).

Apology

Katrina Kaye

I hear the insomnia is back;
that your arms betray you as
they search for the heat
of my body in your bed.

I hear you seek
my scent in your pillows,
strands of hair in your sheets.

But lover,
the only plot we ever shared was rented
in a back room or highway hotel.

I have never been in your bed,
why would you look for me there?

You slept soundly
wrapped in the idea of me,
but the collage
reflected from your eyes
is not the milkweed which hangs on limbs.

I am broken strings,
misread maps,
the insecure song of wind chimes;
I told you before we began.

We were only granules rushing toward
the bottom of hourglass.

I am sorry I didn’t consult you before
pushing ornament to floor,

allowing the shatter before
the sand ran through.

Lover,
I regret the pain I caused you.
The false hope of a finale exclusive
to Hollywood movies and backwood mythologies.

But I do not regret the days we tangled,
the waves of Wednesday wordplay,
our Sunday morning communions.

Those moments, few and foreign,
remain a cracked pocket watch,
too precious to throw away
long after the ticking ceased.

I promised you tissue paper heart,
your name cradled at the base of my neck,
and a tongue that hummed battle hymns;
things never mine to give.

You were just a man,
who wanted to love and be loved in return,

But I,
I wanted to be your champion,
to reshape your dreamscape with bare feet
and an honest smile.

I wanted to be the one to chase the
monsters away.

Never doubt I didn’t burn
for 72 days at your steps before
slicing myself like a cyst from your skin.
We were time bomb;
the inescapable strain of heat to kerosene
paid its toll in endless desert road
and sheets left to chill by winter’s window.

Lover,
we always knew
where this path would wind.
The inevitable was singed
to our tongues upon first kiss.

Yet, you are still dripping from my pen.
How many poems have bared
your twisted thumbprint?

How much more will I write
before I rid myself of this affliction?

To say I love you still
isn’t myth nor gift,
it is merely one of my many sorrows.

I am nobody’s champion.

My hair holds no scent.

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

Wounds

Katrina Kaye

I don’t want
to forget you.

But I know
space creates distance,
creates forgetfulness,
changes the tone
of our voices
till they are no longer
recognizable.

I can carry
the photograph
of you wearing
flannel and frown
looking after me
as I drove away
for only so long
before it frays
and distorts.

The memory
of the strength of your arms,
the kindness in your touch,
the colors of your eyes
offering secrets and comforts,
the way I hung on your lip
and sunk into your skin
all the reasons I told you
I would always love you,
slips from heart and mind.

I wish I still had
that slash in my heart
baring your name.
The one time healed.
The one forgetfulness
is taking from me.

Not all wounds
are asked to mend.
Some I would like to keep,
run my fingers
over scar tissue,
and smile
in sweet reminiscence
of a man who
once gave me
a world.

“Wounds” is previously published in Parade: A Swimming with Elephants Anthology (2018).