Not Forgotten

Katrina Kaye


You were 32 years old,
our mother, not forgotten.

There is no
beloved wife or
darling daughter
to aid in your

At 32 how many
children did you
have? how many
remain clung
to that engraving,

that final epitaph,
not forgotten?


I have forgotten
the way my mother
taught me
to make tortillas,
but I still remember
her stories in
broken English.
The one about
the earthquake
that shook the roof
onto her bed
and the little dog
she had as a girl.

I have forgotten
my father’s
best jokes
but I still remember
the blue of his eyes
and catch his
scent on rainy days
that remind me
of California.


do your children
still see pieces
of you in their

Do your children’s
children come here
to sit at your memory
and rehash your stories?

You died eleven years
before my mother’s birth,
my father would
have been five.

I am a year older
than you ever reached,
but the word mother
remains a foreign language
tangled in my throat.

An unmarred womb
I refuse to forfeit.


If I died today,
what would they
engrave on my stone?

How soon
would I be

“Not Forgotten” is previously published in You Might Need to Hear This (2021).


Katrina Kaye

I am disappearing
act, mispronounced
name, forgotten

I walk soft,
sew lips.

as the chill
in the dark.

Part ghost,
part chameleon.

I wish
I could
say there was
security in
the anonymity,

it merely
leaves me
hollow and creates
a blotch
only I can see.

Don’t try
to look
for me.

I blend
into background,
then disappear
as quickly
as a song

you never
to remember.

“Disappear” is previously published in Mollyhouse (2022).


Katrina Kaye

Love was not first sight
or even mid coil;
it came somewhere
after midnight,
before the dawn,
when we were both
slithering in
our own caves.

Love was scrolled on the
envelope, not the letter,
left on the doorstep,
not the night stand.

Love arrived retrospectively,
then hung around my neck,
an over-sized python,
slipping its forked
tongue around my ear.

It crept slow,
then consumed,
like the subconscious sway
of a charmer’s flute.

I tried to say it,
through casual conversation
and bites of my lower lip,
but by the time
I finally murmured,
I love you,
the only witness
was the steady hiss
of the dial tone.

“Afterthought” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).