Katrina Kaye

I’ve always
been a sucker
for a kicked dog,

always eager to defend
the bruised and beaten.
I am not afraid
when your true face
creeps out after dark;

I have no fear of your ghosts
and how they cling to every bone
peaking through skin.
I am not the image
your eyes reflect.

I know you do not love me.
It doesn’t matter.
I can champion your weight.
I can stitch together skin.

You are not the first
damaged man I strapped
to my back.
I have more strength
than you know.

“Damaged” is previously published in Spillwords (2022).


Katrina Kaye

Our conversation

our time
It’s not your

We never
had a chance.

You left,
emptied shelves
and dresser drawers.
All I can think
is my grandfather will never
dance with me at my wedding.

My heart is broken
My body mourning.

All it is
all of this is
a boneyard
I can’t bury.

I’ve always had trouble
with the scraps,
always found it
impossible to let go.

And now,
at 10:30 on a Tuesday night
I am more empty,
more alone
than I can ever remember.

All I want is for
my mind to rest,
my body to resign.

This is not a holy time.
There is nothing sacred
in this prayer.

Dear child of my heart,
dear landmine,
how does one rectify absence
when the only thing left is
lone ness

and I am
on white pages again.

Metaphors are the same
as curse words are the same
as damn I miss you
is the same as damn
I miss myself is the same
as damn

I miss you.

“Broken” is previously published on Saturday’s Sirens (2020).

I wonder about you

Katrina Kaye

in this picture
you’re still a girl
spotted by the sun

side of the highway
between city and border
you insisted I
take your picture
in front of the sign
for highway 666

your grin too angelic
blonde hair catching every ray of light
as it tangled with the dirt of the road

you were a child then
your skin was never supposed
to blister that way

funny how time
used to stand still for us

we never questioned
where we were going
maybe if we had
I would know where
to find you

sun burnt ballerina,
we were too busy
sucking down strawberry
milkshakes at truck stops
and counting the
number of red cars
to worry about where our road went

I wonder if your skin paled
to its natural milk
after the summer sun slid away
I wonder if your hair
is darker now
that you don’t
have the reflection
of the road to lighten it

“I wonder about you” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, ( 2012) and Eclectica Magazine (2022).