Drunk

Katrina Kaye

I let you follow my eyes
taste my words,
let your hand sit on my shoulder
just long enough,
and your breathe hover near my ear.

I can’t remember how I got there.
How I crept so close to your side.
I suppose you got me a little drunk too,
a caress on your back, a playful snicker,
slow blink, then look away.

Can’t tell who was the cat
and who the wolf.
Didn’t matter who
was following who’s tracks.
We ended at the same station,
two steps beyond the stop sign.

And when it was time for last call
and those dirty lights
of two am sparked on.
Our eye lids were at half mast
and our grins, too bemused,
to realize we were being called home.
To infatuated to accept
it was time to part.

I left you hung over
without so much as
a bloody mary to nurse you back to health.
And as I too sat at home
cradling a pounding head,
I think of how
wicked it was to lead you somewhere
you’re not allowed to go.
To let you feel the map
of my spine then retreat with no
more than an empty bottle
and a sour taste on your tongue.

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

Fleeting

Katrina Kaye

The echo of our time together
still reeks of musty clothes and walks in the rain.

Aware of the tick of the tock,
I hastily wrote my lyrics all over your body,
unfinished tattoos of snarling dragons
and long haired beauties.

We were starving then,
misfit and broken,
so desperate on these feet
which knew only how to sink in sand.

The snap of your smile
was enough to unknot
the tiny hairs around my neck.
The ink of your iris
left my door unlocked
for the chance you
needed a comfort to crawl in.

You were my favorite stanza
of a strange poem
birthed over bed sheets and smiling moons.

I was so careful
not to use the word forever.

After you slipped out,
I spent the afternoon
looking for scissors to clip
this moment clean.

Instead I found ribbons of your
Wednesday night verses,
the imprinted entanglement of your arms,
the scrawl of your breath
against shoulder blade,
the residual whisper:

This
is all there is.

Just you,
just me,

just this.

“Fleeting” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).

Apology

Katrina Kaye

I hear the insomnia is back;
that your arms betray you as
they search for the heat
of my body in your bed.

I hear you seek
my scent in your pillows,
strands of hair in your sheets.

But lover,
the only plot we ever shared was rented
in a back room or highway hotel.

I have never been in your bed,
why would you look for me there?

You slept soundly
wrapped in the idea of me,
but the collage
reflected from your eyes
is not the milkweed which hangs on limbs.

I am broken strings,
misread maps,
the insecure song of wind chimes;
I told you before we began.

We were only granules rushing toward
the bottom of hourglass.

I am sorry I didn’t consult you before
pushing ornament to floor,

allowing the shatter before
the sand ran through.

Lover,
I regret the pain I caused you.
The false hope of a finale exclusive
to Hollywood movies and backwood mythologies.

But I do not regret the days we tangled,
the waves of Wednesday wordplay,
our Sunday morning communions.

Those moments, few and foreign,
remain a cracked pocket watch,
too precious to throw away
long after the ticking ceased.

I promised you tissue paper heart,
your name cradled at the base of my neck,
and a tongue that hummed battle hymns;
things never mine to give.

You were just a man,
who wanted to love and be loved in return,

But I,
I wanted to be your champion,
to reshape your dreamscape with bare feet
and an honest smile.

I wanted to be the one to chase the
monsters away.

Never doubt I didn’t burn
for 72 days at your steps before
slicing myself like a cyst from your skin.
We were time bomb;
the inescapable strain of heat to kerosene
paid its toll in endless desert road
and sheets left to chill by winter’s window.

Lover,
we always knew
where this path would wind.
The inevitable was singed
to our tongues upon first kiss.

Yet, you are still dripping from my pen.
How many poems have bared
your twisted thumbprint?

How much more will I write
before I rid myself of this affliction?

To say I love you still
isn’t myth nor gift,
it is merely one of my many sorrows.

I am nobody’s champion.

My hair holds no scent.

“Apology” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in 2012.