The Perfect Words

Katrina Kaye

Silence is a language
and body movements play
an undecipherable song.

Despite the transparency of eyelashes
and the patience of statues,
the unsaid creates doubt.

Forgive me,
I am unable to think and speak at the
same time. I am unable to travel backwards
and identify the words I should have said,
the perfect words.

I am most insightful when I am silent.

I am not gentle with those that are
most precious to me. If I was,
I would be able to recite the verses
that fill my mouth when our glances meet.

If I was,
I would translate languages
from movement and shades of cheeks.
I would weave words
of gold and trophy. I would
serve security on a silver plate
that never knew tarnish.

frostbitten hands grope
and feel nothing.
the marbles in my mouth
choke me silent.

“The Perfect Words” is previously published in To Anyone Who Has Ever Loved a Writer (2014).

Your Cave

Katrina Kaye

I move the stones,
one by one,
to build this place.


yet safe and warm,
your cave forms
in my hands.

I place you there,
whisper soft words
to soothe,
tell stories
to comfort.

I know you can’t hear me,
but I hope
you understand.

I watch the fire dissolve,
and touch the ashes
with trembled fingers.

On the wall,
I draw your image

with sooted hands,

so anyone
who comes knocking
sees the face of beauty
that resides within.

I leave you there,
safe and warm and protected
inside my memory.

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


Katrina Kaye

he changed
my name, mother

he painted my
hair red and left
my skin hidden from
childish strokes
of sun

for three months
I hid in back rooms
knowing full well
the sun was shinning

I found comfort in the
shadow of his kindness

did you realize
this ripening fruit
was ready to be plucked?

In your absence
I fell from vine

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