Time

Katrina Kaye

He says
he will make
time for me,

as if time is
a tangible thing
that can be woven
among baby’s breath,
wrapped in shiny
paper and ribbon,
and gifted at
front door.

As if time is
a silver necklace
with a knot in its chain,
a string of
green yarn
knit into
favorite sweater.

As if time can
be folded
like an origami acrobat
and added to
ornaments on mantle.

As though you
can conceive time
as easily as opening
passenger door
or buying the next round.

So do it, Darlin’
make time for me.

Create it from
your hands,
like a dove
under your sleeve.

Give me Sunday mornings
warm in your bed,
lingering coffee cups.

Lend me late night confessions
without worry for sleep
and kitchen floor tangos
where no time ticks.

Grant me the chance
to hold on to time
like you held on to my body,
fully with both
arms securely wrapped.

Gift me yesterdays
that slipped sly past.

Allow me to
stroke time slow,
savor its flavor,

leave time malleable
so I can fold into it,
stretch it like pink bubble gum
between the place we met
and the night we end,

mold time like red clay
against the distances I ran
and the sunrise I slept through.

I want to see time
instead of missing it.
I want to put a name to it
instead of a vacant hole
in my stomach.

Make time for me.
Weave it thread by thread,
quilt it into blue blanket
larger than just
the cover of my body,

so there is room
for you beside me.

“Time” is previously published in Flare (2019).

Cage

Katrina Kaye

I will not cage
the bluebird you think
you are.

I will not follow
feathers to find
the path of your flight.

I do not seek ownership.

I leave food out
in the September night;

it doesn’t matter if
it remains untouched in the morning;
it doesn’t matter if
it is devoured.

“Cage” is previously published in September (2014).

Sway

Katrina Kaye

I could sway
in ways
unwritten.
I could linger,
hands clenched
and wrapped.

Let me love myself
all over you.

I would
simply reach,
touch,
scrape the muscle
of your back,
embrace the
burden of
your weight
on shoulder.

Pinned here,
rib bones peek
through flesh,
body held
in place,
puzzle pieces
align.

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

wave

Katrina Kaye

I jerk wake
somewhere between
the rattle of the fan
and a light in the hall

sheets twist around body
a tangle of seaweed
attempting to drag me
back under rocky tide

sulking by your side
I find cool reprieve
to skin heated by
blistering dreams

head resting on chest
arm sprawled again abdomen
you have become an island
offering firm terrain
to battered mind and body

resting on your shoreline
the nightmare dissipates
and breath is sound

my body soaks
in the steady wave
of your inhalation

“wave” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfections (2009) published by Casa de Snapdragon.

Finch

Katrina Kaye

one should not be
too careless with love

when the yellow finch perches
on fingertip, do not flick
her away; do not be crass

thank her for coming
ask her to stay

birds flutter and fly
they shift and peddle
small jerks and shifting eyes

they are not meant to keep still

let her stay
as long as she likes

and allow her the sky
when she chooses to take wing

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

At the Poetry Reading

Katrina Kaye

I notice you
looking at me
across the bar.
We exchange a smile,
and I lower my eyes
to your stare.

It is lifetime since
I washed your
scent from my body,
yet I still shiver
from the remnants of
your touch.

I allow this.

I wonder who notices.
I wonder if they
smell the sex in the air;
if the stain of seduction
is as apparent as the
cigarette smoke which
halos overhead.
Can they tell
I want to touch
you from across the room?

I know you are nothing
more than a two o’clock
storm that flashed through a
New Mexico afternoon drenching me
in an uncontrollable downpour
before passing soundlessly over
the horizon.
I know the monsoons
of summer dry fast
when the sun revives.

Yet, during all the
reading and reciting,
the poetry and music,
the confessions poured across stage
eager for attention,
acknowledgment, acceptance,
I can do nothing but
summon the soft of
your skin under my nails.

“At the Poetry Reading” is previously published on Rabbits for Luck (2016).

Mine

Katrina Kaye

you
you are mine

for me

you are the silver
on my fingers

the sweat along
my temples

you are mine

a confidence I don’t
have to share
or confess

a secret
not exactly
hidden
but owned

I have no
lingering value
or clandestine
treasure

there is just
who I am

and you
my gift

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

Yellow Bird

Katrina Kaye

You are my
yellow bird,

unnatural companion

to these
winter months.

Yet, I am
the one who

sits fragile
in large hands

terrified of the
strength you

have over me.

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

Rain

Katrina Kaye

I wake at 2:37am
Tuesday morning,
all knees and elbows
reveling in the sound
of your late summer storm.
I feel that clap of thunder
in my hipbones,
inhale the flash of light
in the cage that holds
my impatient heart.

I’m thinking of how it might feel
to have you next to me in this downpour.
Your hands on my body
displayed in the night’s electricity.
The rhythm of you
like sheets of hail beating my skin.

I conjure,
at 2:37am,
your moisture spreading
along the line of my clavicle,
your thumbs dripping into the
flesh of my thighs.

I imagine your violence
drenching me,
spit and splash as I
soak into you.
You collect my hair,
moist from your shower,
sweep it from my body,
revealing soft flesh underneath.
The condensation of your lips
caress the back of my neck,
fingers tap ripples against my spine,
something about the rain at 2:37am.

The storm doesn’t hold back.
It is unleashed, wild and primitive,
and I picture the rise and fall,
the beat of you,
the growl and flash,
reflected in hungry gestures
before you move on,
leaving remnants of your tempest
dripping from my window ledge.

“Rain” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014) and as a performance piece on Youtube from the 2012 ABQ Indie City Poetry Slam Championship.

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).