three sisters

Katrina Kaye

three girls,
kittens playing
with string

the oldest
blonde
blue eyes
splatter of
freckles against
high cheek bones,
laughs as she
pulls yarn from ball

her sister,
the second
brown curls,
over brown skin,
catches a piece
ties it off
never lets it
get too long

the small one,
black hair
covering
black eyes,
doesn’t say much,
sits in the corner
holding
her mother’s
brass shears

“three sisters” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfections (2009).

Crack

Katrina Kaye

if the storm did come,
i fear my first
instinct would be
to walk to the apex
bold and frenzied

my streets have been
dry for too long
leaving me desperate
to stand in the rain

i would trade my sight
for the scent of distant
thunder

my taste for the prickle
of hair twirled
in every direction.

i have prayed
for destruction.

but what do i know?

my mother was never
ripped into the sky
by unruly clouds,
my house never blown
down despite the coyotes
that surround back door
i have never wakened
to shattered glass
underneath my morning feet.

why should i distress of the
wrath of weather when my
New Mexican sky is endless blue
my sun bright enough i see
only red in the darkness.

i want the storm,
the wind, the water,
i want to be ravaged by the
wrath of unkind gods.

i know this wish
may not be kind

threats of storms ravage
those who prefer to hold tight
to rock and earth
and toss bodies
like crumpled paper
hoping to cling
on to abandoned words.

i have not felt
that windfall, and
i do not seek to
inhabit the pain
of the others

but i can’t
help but to search the sky for
gathering clouds and sit pale in the
wind hoping for the sky to crack.

“Crack” is previously published in Saturday’s Sirens (2020).

The Nest

Katrina Kaye

Her eyes are open.
A thin trail of blood leaks from parted mouth.
Pink dress, brown flowers,
hiked around thighs.

She,
curled on her side,
an imprint on soft grass.
One brown sandal clings to limp right foot,
the left, scratched and black bottomed.
She did run,
she did.

He cut the ice from her ears,
severed flesh of ring finger for special jewel
she would have willingly given.

Hand outstretched,
fingers curled,
nails chipped, split.
The other wrapped around belly,
hiding spliced skin.
Blood pools around body
an exposed secret.

A bird, fallen from nest
crushed underfoot.
Broken wings flailed in vain
bead black eyes screaming
louder than her voice ever could.

The nest couldn’t hold her.
Tender fluff of undeveloped feathers,
twisted neck and curled claws.

She lay still,
cicadas buzz in nearby trees.
The temperature is seventy-two.
Sun shines down on yellowing skin,
as a slight breeze brushes strands of hair
from the red slits which once held white stone.

“The Nest” is previously published in The Legendary (2013).