On the Plane

Katrina Kaye

to Houston,
I catch the scent
of my grandmother.

I couldn’t place
it’s origin,
but I knew
it as her.

I am not one to commune
with other worlds,
never been touched by angels
or seen flashes of god.

I have the spirituality
of an earth worm,

but
I still hope.
I always hope.

And my mind wonders at
the wandering soul
of my grandmother
as she passes through
narrow cabin.

I slip
into seat
and let her slip
into my mind.

Freely,
I trace the veins of
her cold hands,
the lines of her smile,
the sound of her laugh
all these precious memories,
cradling the images
close at mind,
tight to heart.

But they wander easy,
fade in a mere moment
as fast as
passing breeze
into the light
of rising sun.

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

Release

Katrina Kaye

I practice release:

For too many years I kept
carcasses baited on hook,
held skeletons long
after their slow decay.

My house reeks of
decomposition.
The dust piled heavy
on unread books,
the sand on windowsill
that comes from the
March winds.

It is time to practice release:

Open windows,
leave doors ajar,
allow the cat to slip in
and out around unkempt stoop.

Burn poems, pictures, throw away
artwork piled behind dressers.
Dismiss the bundled burden of
birthday cards from shoebox.

All the keepsakes that define
who I was are no longer relevant
to whom I have become.
Let them dissolve into sand
and seep through fingers,
sticking and scattering
where it may.

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

The Dead

Katrina Kaye

There is
a hand
on my spine

pressing
backbone
under water.

I feel
the winkled
fingerprint

tattooed
into flesh.

It makes
me think
of the years

you pressed me
under your thumb.

All the times
I came
when you called,

eager at your door

only to receive
the scraps
you flung to
impassioned jaws.

Your fingers
never bruised me;

my teeth
never scraped
your hand.

I was held
at arm’s reach
secure

between palm
and fingers

left to
kick and curse,

powerless.

I have no idea
how to climb
back to the surface.

But I do
understand
how one might
arrive on dry land

only to curse
the sand in
the cracks
between toes.

My patience is
heavy and this
sickness shakes
me to the bone.

I am not the one
to recite a
memoir for the dead,

I am better
practiced
at letting go,

allowing the water
to pull me under
and dissolve.

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