Re Shape

Katrina Kaye

I disentangle
myself from
the woman
I used to be

allow her
to rest

her time
well spent
has ended

and now

I mold
with broken
finger and
roughened palms

another cast
another face

eyes and bones
and stitched lips
I do not
recognize
in the mirror

only to
shed her
in time
as well

and begin
again

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

Thank You

Katrina Kaye

Thank you

for the dance in the lightning storm;
the blowing wind that chilled summer skin
and placed my hair in your eyes.

Thank you

for meeting my gaze with kindness,
laughing at my redundant jokes, and
singing along with me to the radio.

Thank you

for learning the words to my favorite song.

Thank you

for the drink on the porch
after everyone else was gone,
for the last cigarette in your pack
and the honest conversation
long after the hour of reason
when our lips say things
our minds have long hidden.

Thank you

for the reminiscence,
for just a little while, for just one night,
of precious moments long lost
to the whirl of the wind,
while the sky’s electricity screams.

Thank you

for remembering me.

Thank you

for making me
feel as though I am still loved.

But mostly,
thank you

for releasing your grip,
for letting time and space work their magic to heal
the wounds you dug into me. Thank you
for letting me go.

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

X

Katrina Kaye

One tied to my
left wrist,

wraps silver around
ring finger,
pulls with
all his might.

He wants to keep
me. Take me away
in a whirlpool of
reckless dreams
doomed to dissipate.

He knows nothing
of the cruelty
of the earth.

*

The other
strapped herself
to right ankle,

wants nothing
more than my smile,
says she loves me.

I stopped calling
her a liar.

She wants me to walk
on her, wants to be
my road, holds me
firmly to the ground.

*

I am tied,
pulled in
opposition

and have grown tired
of the struggle.

All I want is
to touch
my own skin.

Yet I still
tremble at the
thought of being
let go.

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

On the Plane

Katrina Kaye

to Houston,
I catch the scent
of my grandmother.

I couldn’t place
it’s origin,
but I knew
it as her.

I am not one to commune
with other worlds,
never been touched by angels
or seen flashes of god.

I have the spirituality
of an earth worm,

but
I still hope.
I always hope.

And my mind wonders at
the wandering soul
of my grandmother
as she passes through
narrow cabin.

I slip
into seat
and let her slip
into my mind.

Freely,
I trace the veins of
her cold hands,
the lines of her smile,
the sound of her laugh
all these precious memories,
cradling the images
close at mind,
tight to heart.

But they wander easy,
fade in a mere moment
as fast as
passing breeze
into the light
of rising sun.

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

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.

Release

Katrina Kaye

I practice release:

For too many years I kept
carcasses baited on hook,
held skeletons long
after their slow decay.

My house reeks of
decomposition.
The dust piled heavy
on unread books,
the sand on windowsill
that comes from the
March winds.

It is time to practice release:

Open windows,
leave doors ajar,
allow the cat to slip in
and out around unkempt stoop.

Burn poems, pictures, throw away
artwork piled behind dressers.
Dismiss the bundled burden of
birthday cards from shoebox.

All the keepsakes that define
who I was are no longer relevant
to whom I have become.
Let them dissolve into sand
and seep through fingers,
sticking and scattering
where it may.

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

While she sleeps,

Katrina Kaye

I watch the clouds gather
outside the bedroom window

the snow is coming

please let the snow come

the hush of the early morning
wraps itself around me
turning my breath to ghost

While she sleeps,
I make coffee
enough for both of us
but I know hers will go cold
before she wakes

when she wakes

if she wakes

I watch the sky
and pray for snow
let coffee bitter the tongue
take in the air
from my lungs

when I woke
I was colder than I have
ever been
I was talking to ghosts
that are still clinging to flesh and blood

When I woke,
I was alone so I stayed
beside her while she slept

across the room

in a blanket and chair

by the window

sipping the coffee and
watching the sky
praying for snow
hoping she wakes soon

so neither of us
will be alone

“While she sleeps,” was previously published in Saturday’s Sirens (2021).

The Dead

Katrina Kaye

There is
a hand
on my spine

pressing
backbone
under water.

I feel
the winkled
fingerprint

tattooed
into flesh.

It makes
me think
of the years

you pressed me
under your thumb.

All the times
I came
when you called,

eager at your door

only to receive
the scraps
you flung to
impassioned jaws.

Your fingers
never bruised me;

my teeth
never scraped
your hand.

I was held
at arm’s reach
secure

between palm
and fingers

left to
kick and curse,

powerless.

I have no idea
how to climb
back to the surface.

But I do
understand
how one might
arrive on dry land

only to curse
the sand in
the cracks
between toes.

My patience is
heavy and this
sickness shakes
me to the bone.

I am not the one
to recite a
memoir for the dead,

I am better
practiced
at letting go,

allowing the water
to pull me under
and dissolve.

“The Dead” is previously published in To Anyone Who Has Ever Loved a Writer (2014).

Breeze

Katrina Kaye

I hope for a morning breeze,
cool air against hot skin.
I want to feel the creep,
the bite,

but the air is stiff,
hanging thick and cruel.

I cannot help but wonder at
the slap and kick of destiny.
The way the seasons tricked
me into loosing track of sunrises
and thunder storms.

I became immune to thirst,
the burn of flame to finger,
the squeeze and release of
sunburn on across my back.

The curse of burnt grass under hot sun
doesn’t prick my heel like it once did.

I became somehow clean;
wrapped in white sheets,
tied tight to sunlight.

And yet,
I long for comfort in the still of morning.
Something new and fresh
to chill heated skin.

Summer cooled by open window,
the soft breeze of morning air
slipping in,
letting go.

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

Order September today or check it out on Kindle Unlimited through Amazon.

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).