Alice

Katrina K Guarascio

little girl
with the
blue dress
acts sad
as she
prances around
the yard

pretending fish
tell tales
and looking-glasses
hold more
than reflections

she stopped
eating
the pink
frosted cookies
when she
found out
they were
the reason
she got
so big

she stopped
digging in
the backyard
after she
realized all
the rabbits
fled their holes

she wishes
her imagination
would take
hold of
her again

instead of
teasing her
with glimpses
into what
might be

if only
she could
fall asleep
a second time

“Alice” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfection (2009) and More Fire than Sun (2008).

2 things

Katrina K Guarascio

there are
2 things

i
now know
for certain:

i loved
you with
every beat
of my self

&

it did
not matter

 

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

Sun

Katrina K Guarascio

Your world is
absent of light.
Dust reflected in
rare brightness only to
disappear behind
western vista.

Enveloped in gloom,
you watch from thick shadows
the world succumbing to the dim,
you fade
in the dusk.

If I promise
to follow you
into the night,
take your path
away from the sun
and wrap myself
in your darkness,

will you sit with me,
fingers interlaced with my own,
and watch the sun rise?

“Sun” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).

Orchard

Katrina K Guarascio

I’ve passed this place
a thousand times,
but this is the first
I’ve bothered to pluck
fruit from tree and
allow it to squeeze in
my palm. I swat flies
from eyes. They have
a tendency to hover here;
eager for sweetness, they
block my view, twist sight
into kaleidoscope. I have
spent my life resisting
the sugar that sticks between
tiny hairs which litter
my thighs; but now, I
am learning how to cover
my tracks. To slip secret
through yard and wet my lips
on the ripe. I have never
been one for proper manners.
I wade into orchard,
follow the sound of the
records your mother spins
from house. Wail along
to the deep voice which
balloons through the trees.
No one feels hunger in
quite the same way.

“Orchard” is previously published in Chasing Rabbits (2014).

There’s a Girl

Katrina K Guarascio

There’s a girl
at the Route 66 gas station
asking for change.

You don’t have any,
but you offer to buy
her a soda on your credit card
as you pay for a pack of cigarettes
and a cup of coffee.

She is grateful,
says that’s all she really needs.

She’s with her mother,
a tired, silent woman,
grey hair greased to scalp,
sitting on the curb out front.
The old woman never speaks.

This girl has tattoos on her neck,
one by her eye.
Amateur ink scribbled
by shaking hands.

She’s thanks you again,
says she has make up to sell,
nose rings,
other small snatchable items
that seep out of her pocket.

You listen,
you refuse.

She won’t let you leave till you
take a bottle of nail polish
in gratitude.
It’s a color you will never wear.

You know her,
this girl,
with the too thin limbs
and chapped lips.

You almost were her
once.
Asking for change,
grateful for just a kind reply.

You still feel ashamed
for all you had,
that you let slip away.

She asks for a ride.
You lie and say you’re going the other way.
She nods, smiles,
knows where your line sticks.
Your eyes reflect each other
as both recognized the person
you could have become.

“There’s a Girl” is previously published in Chasing Rabbits (2014).

Collapse

Katrina K Guarascio

I had a poem
on my tongue
when I closed
my eyes.

It was stolen
by sleep.

A tiny collapse
of dreams
and empires,
only grand
because of its
destruction.

“Collapse” is previously published in Rabbit for Luck (2016).

Broken Dolls

Katrina K Guarascio

We are
porcelain dolls
cracked on
floorboards.

White socks
and red ribbons.
Marble eyes
vacantly
comprehending
how we
ended up in pieces
on linoleum.

Arms distort
unable to grasp,
legs contort
unless beneath us.
Curls fall from clips,
rusty coal around
your pale skin.
Plum lip color smears
out of the lines
of your careful grin.

We lean against oven
wondering if we
will ever be
able to walk again,
and theorizing
why good
parties always end
on the kitchen floor.

“Broken Dolls” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfections (2009).

if

Katrina K Guarascio

if i curl
tight enough
in the hidden
hole between

awake and asleep

i can keep
warmth in

if i am
still and silent
in the soft
space between

night and day

i can feel
my heart beat
i can clear
my voice and
whisper my
intentions

if i stay here, 
eyes closed,
mind uninterrupted
in the comfort between

oblivion and
sensibility

i can pretend
i have not
been forgotten

i can let
time turn her
face to the sun
and close
her eyes
to the light

my loneliness
will matter

my emptiness
will be realized

this is where
i find myself
where time is
relative and
the darkness
can’t get me

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

Erosion

Katrina K Guarascio

My façade is masonry.

Mineral matter
solidified
over supple flesh
of chin and chest.

I have built myself
into marble statue
perpetual in posture.

When you hit gravel,
I was the stepping stone
that supported your climb.
When you couldn’t swim any longer
I was an island to lie upon.

You said I was your rock:
stone held firmly in place,
lacking malleability,
solid under weight bending back.

You said you needed me
to hold you up,
keep free of fierce waters,
and blackened ravines.

You said I am
your stable support,
but my material,
though durable,
lacks permanence.

The smallest stream
cuts through
the hardest of granite
after years of rain.
Mountains weather to remnants,
boulders become sand,
and pebbles playing on the beach
move easily in the
pull and tug of changing tide.

I have not remained picturesque
from years of exposure to your elements.

My exterior is worn, eroded,
and when I crack
there will be no gems to harvest,
just hollow.

The firmer your hold on my splintering surface
the more you will strip me to sediments,
until there
is nothing left
of me
for you.

“Erosion” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).

Champion

Katrina K Guarascio

Every night
I save you
in a hundred
different ways.

I say the
right thing;

I turn a
different corner;

I catch you.

Every night
I bring past
to present and
relive that
last day,

only different.

I take the
gun from your
hand; I answer
the phone.

I listen,
just listen.

Every night
I am there
instead of here.

I stop
it from
happening.

Every night,
in most
precious
imagination,

I become
your champion.

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