Poetry from Katrina Kaye

Father

Allow a streak of light
from single bulb hallway
to lay across the floor.
Remind me, in this mild action,
there are heroes in the world,
not every act is based on
the selfish hunger of men.
On nights like this
the rocks of the world
lay heavy on my spine,
pinning me to an earth
I have no desire to inherit.
It is why I am well versed in
the tongue of loneliness.
I am most concrete wrapped
in solitude.
Let me hear the voices
down the hall. The influx
in cadence regardless of meaning,
the occasional laugh.
I am again
five years old asleep in
a stranger’s house feeling
no desire to resume the
party but comforted to know
it continues.
Leave the door cracked,
just enough, so I’ll know
when the house rings silent,
when the hall light finally dims
that I am completely alone.
 
Reminding


When I met you, I fell in love 
with flying, with candle light, 
open windows. From the safety 

of your late lit bedroom, 
I watched rain as it ate the earth,
leaving soft teeth marks

in the dirt of your gardens. I hear 
the moths come every seven years, 
but sometimes it seems 

like they are always here, flittering 
against door frame in praise 
of porch light. We don’t always 

forget the way we are supposed to, 
nor do we remember the way 
the seasons would like us 

to believe. I crawled upon your hand
on fine legs, wing brushing palm,
steadying myself as you peered

through the brown spots on my wings.
You did not crush me or push me 
away. Details blur and the edges 

of film burn through so all one sees 
are big moments, not days shifted 
in between. My wings against 

your open hand; you let me stay 
as long as I needed, did not protest 
when I took again to the air.

I don’t remember exact words,
but I have not forgotten your face.
I can’t remember why I loved you

but I can’t forget that I did.
It’s been over twenty years
since you made me feel loved 

just by the meeting my gaze.
It has been six years since 
you died, but I swear I have seen

the moths more than once since then. 
They flutter on the window beside 
my late-night lingering, reminding me 

of the early hours we shared 
before the sun approached. We had 
closure; nothing left unsaid or undone.

That was the last season of the moths,
Reminded me that you were once
a light I could not resist.
 
Prayers

You say you have some prayers to teach me.
Prayers that could sooth you to sleep
or shake you awake.
Prayers that can raise the dead or let them lie.
Prayers that will keep your hands out of your pockets.

I don’t know those prayers.
But I pray scars that poach underarm
bleach and shallow when given time to heal.
I pray lungs take one year to shed 
the black they spent seven years collecting.

You know prayers like crickets,
prayers that spark rainbows in the desert,
prayers for sex with strangers
and wide-eyed staring dolls whose marble eyes
gleam across dark bedrooms.
Prayers that will keep you from calling out the wrong name
	across the dining room table,
in the bedroom,
when he asks for a towel.

Prayers for wild horses
who don’t know when to stop their chase.
Prayers for scarecrows and splintered straw.
I pray skin toughens under desert sun;
the sand in my chest scrubs me clean,
scours the ill, the wicked,
the ugly I held tightly,
until it shines.
You know prayers that cast black magic,
that knock out front teeth
and rebuild shattered mirrors.

I pray my body is in a state of redemption.
I pray to resist the temptation
of a Thursday night in the back
of your car and one drink too many.
Do not allow me to regress into sickness.
Lead me not to deteriorate to the
fragile I once was.
Unable to move I crouch low and hold tight
to wooden beads that coddle the back of my throat
cutting off the circulation to hands
grasped tight in prayers for daylight,
prayers for the flutter of wings,
prayers for morning song.

 
Remember
Remember the way the light soaks
into the wet streets on a Tuesday morning.
Remember the way words are shared,
are smeared, are cut up and divided out.
Remember how clumsy your smile
caught me and how fingers and
shadows make excellent shows
against cave wall.
Remember the cave,
the loneliness of it
and the isolation,
the cruelty.
Don’t abandon my memory
upon the rocks and leave
it for the dogs to dig up.
Remember.
It is the only way
to find your way back.
It is the only way to learn better,
to see better, to love better,
to be better.
I watch the rain
and remember once believing
birds couldn’t fly when wet.
I know better now. 
 
Seventeen Years

In my dream you were alive.
I saw you:
a broken man with
crooked smile telling me
it’s been seventeen years.
You’ve been looking for me for
seventeen years. You’ve been
in love with me for seventeen
years.
It’s been seventeen years since
your spine cracked upon impact.
It was just one of those things
that happen, an accident.
No one’s fault; No one
to shoulder the blame.
In my dream, I look for the book
you gave me, the only thing
you ever gave me, hungry for a signature
scrawled on the first page. Your j’s look
like g’s in fast black ink.
It has been seventeen years since we
raced the halls together. A good kid
who smiled too much. A chip of broken tile
and notes passed by girls. You never should
have become a name smeared to highway.
Never should have been anything more than
a fond memory, a high school crush, a missed
connection.
Now, you survive in the pit of my stomach,
and despite a promise of pleasant reminiscence,
the dream shifts to the crack of skeleton,
the shattering of front tooth. I can’t trade this image
for a kinder one. It haunts me.
It haunts me still.
More than anything in the world, I
want to find you, to call you,
to write you a message in my
sloppy script assuring you
some things never die. But
you are already lost to me.
This is how I wake, chasing
rabbits and following sparrows. At
a loss for what I cannot quite
reach. You were always the illusive
one. So I lay here and I endure and
it is as sweet as the Sunday morning
we never shared.
 




Katrina Kaye is a writer and educator living in Albuquerque, NM. She is seeking an audience for her ever-growing surplus of poetic meanderings. She hoards her published writing on her website: ironandsulfur.com. She is grateful to anyone who reads her work and in awe of those willing to share it. Twitter: @PoetKatrinaKaye Facebook: Iron & Sulfur

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