left behind

Katrina Kaye

at 4 am you
can’t sleep


with slow movements

gentle touch

you slip out of blanket
into cold stale air

I do not wake

yet I discern
your absence

my body chases
the warmth

left behind

“left behind” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).

Bus Station

Katrina Kaye

A little after ten thirty,
we sit at the bus station.

My leg thrown over yours,
head rests on shoulder,
your arm around me,
absently caressing my shoulder
as though a lifelong habit.

The ice of your eyes bites my lower lip as
you tell me where the wild things are
in a cadence so calm it stirs my soul.
I tire of hiding my insides
from my out.

I crawl inside you then,
build a home from the bones of your rib cage,
a bed out of cartilage that marked sternum,
pillow from soft tissue between vertebrae,
I fall asleep against the rhythm of your heart.

I leave a piece of myself there.

A little before eleven you collect yourself
and join the crowd surrounding the departing door.

Without a second thought
I give you my last cigarette,
a kiss for the road,
and a handful carefully chosen words.
A shared serene convergence
before the road drags you away.


“Bus Station” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014) by Swimming with Elephants Publications, Down in the Dirt January 2012, and After the Apocalypse 2013 Literary Datebook.

Come as You Are

Katrina Kaye

Navigate using the sun like a compass.

Find direction
on the cloudiest days
beaconed in violent sky.

At the door,
your tattered skin,
broken body.

Know there is still a place for you,
this brood still recognizes you by scent.

Find home here.

We end up hip to hip at this table,
sharing bread from the same bowl.

I wrap ears around your revelations,
let thumb prints sink into your mind
until you realize this is where you belong.

One of my kind:
not a gentleman,
not a tramp.
A misfit finding comfort
in your familiars.
Twisted words tell terrible tales,
split lips
I could have molded
from my own reflection.

Our breed may have been
separated in infancy by
high water and strong winds,
but we were born to the same tribe,
our mouths cradle the same tongue.

Distance cannot eclipse bonds.
Legacy cannot be hidden in straps of time.

Come as you are,
you are welcome here.

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