Orange

Katrina Kaye

You told me once,

when you
found me
at two am

sitting cross legged
on linoleum floor,

pulling apart
sections
of an orange
to suck on the slices,

you can’t decide
which part of me

to forge
into a locket
so you can
fold yourself
inside,

held within
for always.

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

Melt

…that this too solid flesh would melt…

Melt, flesh, melt…

Starve cheeks gaunt.
Count vertebrae poking through
an elephant’s ridged back.

Stretch skin around pile of sticks.
Drape clothes on hanger hipbones.

When arms wrap around frame
say how they go right through,
corporeal diminished to ghost.

Melt, flesh, melt…

Let skin prickle with shiver,
bones clink like wind chimes.

Skirt fingers upon skeleton
exposed through dorsal skin.
Body’s topography foreign
under well terrained fingers.

It’s not about sexy anymore.
Not sure it ever was.

Hard to remember the initial
skipped meal of childhood,
running until knees gave to collapse,
the earliest mirror reflection that spat back.

It seems it was always this way.
Hold backbone together
with thin layers of spit and glue.
Skull bobbles on shoulder blades.

Freshman summer of thirteenth year,
a week’s worth of consumption added
to water and orange juice.

On the seventh day,
stomach heaves with the rot of bile.

At nineteen, diet consists of
coffee, ephedrine, cigarettes.

There are no more curves
to define woman over creature.
Feminine forfeits to stick figure
and it isn’t enough.

Melt, flesh, melt…

Keep count.
Constant comparisons:
measurements, lists, graphs,
charting roads which lead to bone yard.

Slip into winter’s shade.
Shortened days make it easy to hide,
stay veiled in the dim.
There is comfort in the buried.

Secure behind barricade,
confined to bed,
no longer know hunger
or hear telephone.
Locked from the inside,
they take the hinges off the door.

Melt, flesh, melt…
Flee this corpse for better.

All I ever wanted,
all I ever wanted,

all I ever wanted,

was

skin

and bones.

“Melt” is previously published in the collection, my verse…, published by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC in 2012 and Light as a Feather; an anthology of resilience (2019).

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.