Wounds

Katrina Kaye

I don’t want
to forget you.

But I know
space creates distance,
creates forgetfulness,
changes the tone
of our voices
till they are no longer
recognizable.

I can carry
the photograph
of you wearing
flannel and frown
looking after me
as I drove away
for only so long
before it frays
and distorts.

The memory
of the strength of your arms,
the kindness in your touch,
the colors of your eyes
offering secrets and comforts,
the way I hung on your lip
and sunk into your skin
all the reasons I told you
I would always love you,
slips from heart and mind.

I wish I still had
that slash in my heart
baring your name.
The one time healed.
The one forgetfulness
is taking from me.

Not all wounds
are asked to mend.
Some I would like to keep,
run my fingers
over scar tissue,
and smile
in sweet reminiscence
of a man who
once gave me
a world.

“Wounds” is previously published in Parade: A Swimming with Elephants Anthology (2018).

Lighthouse

Katrina Kaye

Every blink
of your eyes

is a sunrise at sixteen,
when you told me

you loved me
and we watched the

sun eat the black.
Fifteen years later

you cling to me,
and I let you.

With each kiss
I promise

safe harbor,
with each touch

I seek to steer
your path.

I am
no beacon.

I am easily lost
to the night,

unable to guide
ships led astray.

My hands cannot
retain heat,

cannot heal or
offer cure from pain.

Yet, there is
a light in me

that still hopes I can
lead you home.

“Lighthouse” is previously published in Saturday’s Sirens (2021).

Ever After

Katrina Kaye

A lighthouse does not shine every day,
only when the fog is thick
and the storm is rough;

once the waves subside, it returns
dormant and dark.

I regret not having this knowledge
the night you stumbled upon my shore.

I realize now how one can leave their home,
yet always keep it with them.
I have learned one can fall madly in love,
yet still keep precious places sacred
for those most dear.

We have become only each other,
like children before the war,
offering momentary reprieve,
then release. The remembrance of a precious home
created in the cup of childhood.

This is how it was suppose to be.
We were not molded for the
hardship of daily existence,
we were created for relief,
for a relapse of innocence,
the comfort of old friends and first loves.

“Ever After” is previously published in Rabbits for Luck (2016).