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).