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).

Wine Glass

Katrina Kaye

I position
his arms around
my body
so they hold me
like you used to
when we wedged
into the twin bed
in your basement studio
all those years ago.
I needed only to have
you beside me again,
to cure the cramp
in my gut and the crackle
in my throat with the comfort
of warm body and perfect embrace.

You are gone,
so I use him.

A restless boy with too
much to prove, who has your
height but not your eyes,
who makes me laugh like you
once did and likes to watch
me when I am looking away
so close to your sideways glance.

I shatter myself into him.
Being useless in this skin,
I sought the soul beneath.

It only broke
my heart a little
when he left,
no more than a wine glass
forgotten on the floor
crushed under the klutz
of an early morning
stumble toward bath.

“Wine Glass” is previously published in September (2014).

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Badge

Katrina Kaye

I thought I
was ready for
the collision of
tooth to chest,
so I waited
for bullet
to light up sky.
I remained
patient for barrage
to shatter my
faith in you.
I apologize
for letting you gut
me in the fashion
of an animal.

I am left with a scar
dug into flesh.
A badge flashing from
right shoulder,
which you ignore
every time you
brush past.

“Badge” is previously published in September (2014).