Katrina Kaye

There is a problem
with becoming a warrior;

a sense of posture and
responsibility once
established is near
impossible to slouch.

Despite the tattoos,
scars, and harsh vocabulary
there are grenades
crumbling in my chest.

The child sacrificed
is hollering
through bones,
rattling through

I carved a line that
cannot be uncrossed.

This shield can’t be dropped
for fear of an exposed vein.
My bow ever present
for fear of an empty hand.

The lullabies I forever
hummed by heart have
turned too sweet
to pass through these split lips.

It has been years
since the perfection of childhood,

yet I still curl like innocence
into the corners of my bed,
lying still so as not to be found.

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