I dreamt you

Katrina Kaye

I dreamt you were still alive.

Your death,                         a fabrication,
gossip created by popular media,                   the paparazzi,

to fool the public,
to fool me.

My eyes adjusted to you
like the setting sun.

You were different,
changed,          but I knew you.

A full beard of bristling blonde hair
clung to your cheeks ,
red and chapped from winter’s icy kiss.

Your shoulders,
too broad for emaciated frame
hung clothing loose

as though there was nothing more
than a whisper beneath them.

And your hands,
rough,                          blistered,
like you pulled yourself
one grip over the other
to the surface of the earth.

But your alternate appearance
did not fool me,

I knew you.

Without hesitation I ran,
falling into you,
I folded;           held you.

I felt the sharp thick hairs
of your beard on my forehead,
felt your arms holding me
like a weak memory.

And you knew me
like I knew you,

in that space in our minds
where we are free to embrace
all that we once had.

Where time,
death,              change,
those things can’t hurt us anymore.

I held you there.

“I dreamt you” is previously published in Catching Calliope Vol 3, 2014.

Come Back

Katrina Kaye

You looked in the mirror
before you did it. You cut
off all your hair in misshapen
awkward chunks, some spots
clean to your scalp.

You didn’t leave a note, but
two days before you killed
yourself you gave me your
grandmother’s watch,

told me
you never wore the dented heirloom
and it didn’t fit your slim wrists,

it would look better on me.

When I pointed out that it no
longer worked your shrugged and
simply stated, “time is a silly thing.”

I stand at your funeral
consumed by the list of frivolities I
didn’t know about you, overwhelmed
by the uselessness of words and the
futility of remorse, devastated by
the continuance of the ordinary.

The sun rose this morning, but the
winter chills me to the core.
The radio continues to play and I
know all the words to one song
after the other.

Cara, we will never
sing together again. We will never
exchange excuses of why we would
should postpone a date or how it
it is so lovely to be alone.

It has been over
one hundred days and
all I can say is
come back.

“Come back” is previously published in Anvil Tongue (2022).

Tiny Tragedy

Katrina Kaye

the house wakes

an old man

with tired bones

clicking into place

an echo with
no consequence

I am losing my words

I know it now
a piece or two


every morning

a memory that does
not wake with my body

tiny tragedy

tiny loss

a step at a time
a moment too long
and suddenly
it adds up


too fast

it ends

“Tiny Tragedy” is previously published in Madness Muse Press (2020).