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Kate Feb 2020
i want to be so lovely
tear the skin from my bones and whittle me down to nothing,
there-
am i small enough for you?
i want to be so tiny,
tear these limbs to pieces and press them,
dry me out like a bouquet and let my petals fall,
hang me decoratively throughout the apartment,
brittle and thin and lifeless and lovely
Kate Feb 2020
when I die cut me into pieces
keep the bits of me in your back pockets and leave me at train stations
hide me in between books at libraries and tuck me between the pews at church
leave me next to shampoo bottles at the pharmacy and plant me with blue hydrangeas
stuff me in between the sheets at ikea and in stranger’s coin jars
I want to be known so much,
I want the world to have me
If they don’t want me as a whole,
maybe they’ll take the scraps
Kate Feb 2020
paper and pen won't do,
i'll pool blood around my frame and hope to find words in my own ink.
you'll stand right here and give me all the ammunition i need,
carving my skin from bone as you speak,
for i know this is your exit interview.
i will be a skeleton of a woman,
and that's just fine because at least i'll have been skinned by the handsomest man to leave this apartment.
my magnum opus,
i'll trace the blood with my fingers
and try to write about how it felt to have your attention for a moment.
you'll leave and stain the carpet with crimson footprints,
but that's just fine because there will be a painting to match my poem.
Kate Oct 2015
YOU
overestimated the strength of this foundation
this home was made of paper -
3 years of hot glue and worn fingers,
finally we had a bedroom,
a living space

with fall came the rain
day and night, downpour
sign number one the flood was coming -
puddles appeared in the grass and i tried fixing it with my cupped hands
silently pleading that the neighbors look away while i was on my knees
you rushed around with a bucket of paint, the grass must be green
the grass must be green, your shirt must be tucked, i must crack a joke when your family shows
it was still raining and everyone else realized what was happening
my mother called, "please just leave. your skin is greying
get out of the rain."

You slept through the thunder,
a crack appeared here and there and the floorboards shook
Our arguments leaked through the cracks
And the screams dripped down the walls

during dinner it suddenly became all too much
the windows popped, one by one, starting in the basement
you thought if you locked the doors the water would stay out
if we stayed in the covers we would be dry
if i stayed naked we'd be fine
but i'm cold i'm cold and it's still raining

the windows kept popping and you ran to replace them
but water and glass overtook you
shards in your back, shards in your hands
please don't touch me don't grab me don't hold my face
rain water filling your lungs - pouring from your mouth
you screamed apologies and tried to hold me
don't kiss me i can't breathe please don't kiss me don't
the water was only up to your shoulders but you were drowning
just swim, you idiot, make an effort to stay afloat
i have this raft made of my skin
and yes there is a scar there and a burn to the left
but it can hold us

we climbed back into bed instead,
completely submerged
you held me tightly as i welcomed the rain into my lungs
and with the glass in your hands slowly slicing my skin
I apologized
And felt the roof land on my spine
sorry if this doesnt make sense
Kate Apr 2020
this is a different kind of yearning,
how can you crave a taste you've never known?
how do I grieve the absence of company I haven’t kept?
there’s a little bit of you left for me,
a shadow that leers over my sink,
a silhouette behind me, massaging shampoo into my hair
the echo of footsteps following me up my stairs,
you retrieve the keys from my purse

I sit on this sofa
and the you that I once had is beside me,
leaving an imprint on my left-most cushion,
I let you rest here once and now you are the trim on my front door
Unravel yourself from the braid down my back
and snake yourself from my drain
I hear you in the creak escaping from my floorboards
you are be the monster under my bed
Sage won’t eradicate you,
please leave this space
You lie beside me,
a sheet of knowing tethering me to the mattress.
Oof
Kate Apr 2014
i knew from the beginning
that the home we built was not structurally sound
but when they said it would cave in,
i simply laughed my most self-assured laugh
and squeezed your hand a little tighter

the day you punched a hole in the wall
was the day i slammed every door
and i suppose we hadn't built it strong enough
the roof fell on our heads
and the walls crumbled so quickly
by the time the dust had cleared
i realized i was standing in the rubble alone
you hadn't stayed to help salvage our belongings
or to see how my head was doing
you just ran with your bleeding heart
and your hand still balled in a fist
Kate Apr 2018
A human brain can only go a few minutes without oxygen. Suffocation is a means of rotting. Damage catalyzed by this phenomena is quick and devastating.

As you released that breath,

The breath that held a tangle of vibrations-
Vibrations that wove through and around themselves, and each atom in this space between us-

did you wish you could catch your exhale in cupped palms, fold it with clean creases, and place it back under your tongue?

The vibrations unfurled themselves on my lap, now heavy with the weight of the posed question contained in that breath-

"do you see me?"

knee-**** under the weight of what you'd asked,

"of course."

As you slept,
I collected your foolishly inquisitive breath- balled up like a receipt underneath your bed,
Ironed out the wrinkles,
And slid it into the back pocket of yesterday's jeans  

I gave this breath back to you,
hoping that when I left,
you would have more than just a few minutes before they couldn't repair the damage
May
Kate May 2018
May
If my mood is directly correlated to the weather,
and you are a man made in the likeness of a long winter,
how did we ever plan for this to unfold neatly?
As the sun comes back to me,
you retreat to the corner of my closet,
tucked behind downy coats and borrowed sweaters.
Kate Apr 2018
What is contained in those years prefacing our story?
Memory is a fickle thing-
Pieces of mine have been left in storm drains and deep closets
Give me what you can-
the frayed shoelaces from fifth grade and clip on ties from homecoming dances
We can trade these like baseball cards-
the patch of woods behind my childhood home for when you learned how to ride a bike
Could you spare the day you knew your mom would leave?
You can have the time I realized silence is tangible when you want company- it rests heavy on your chest as you sit alone at the table .
I take what we've traded and tuck it between my floorboards, in the panels of my walls, in my window frame
What was contained in those years before us is safe in my woodwork as you gift it to me
And the years to come will hold pieces of me
Kate Apr 2018
Sorry about last week
That wasn't meant for you
Tar escapes from between my teeth and lands at unsuspecting feet
It's a slow drip, you understand?
That wasn't meant for you,
It just took so long to come out-
you happened to be there
Passing a car wreck on the turnpike-
You're the wreck and I am doubling the speed limit to his house

A note was sent:
"Wait on the corner of Sumac and Freeland."
I had hoped to be intercepted,
Perhaps my tar would drown the intended instead of the incidental-
But upon receiving my note,
He placed it in his shoebox labeled "demons from the past"
He was not there waiting for me,
And so the grandest "I love you" I could muster, has stained the wrong shoes
Kate Jan 2017
Ordinary phrases of endearment always rang through my skull as terms of conquest. “I miss you,”- a mouthful of blood. “I need you,”- spitting out teeth. “I love you,”- a white flag, waving wildly, admitting defeat. With him, these words flowed easily, but still stung like bile on their way out. I’d rather choke on knuckles than on a tender declaration of adoration, but love twists us into foreign shapes. It was love; such bruising could be result of no other phenomenon. We were in love. Coffee after dessert, doodling flowers, reading Cummings kind of honey-sweet  love. In hindsight it’s a pity, but as it unfolded it was everything good in this world, and I miss it every day.

When I confessed my love, it felt like spitting out my front teeth and coughing up a pint of blood. I gave up the struggle; I allowed him the twisty dark parts of myself that only a few had asked to see. My white flag glowed like a beacon through the velvet blue nights we spent giving each other secrets, wrapped with care in gold ribbon, and placed delicately in one another’s palms. I write this recollection while still blood still drips from my mouth. To experience loss and be unaware you have lost is a defeat like no other.
I will need you forever (a blow to my jaw), I will miss you forever (broken fingers hanging limp), I will love you forever (stars swirling behind my eyes).
excerpt from my short story, first and final paragraphs
Kate Mar 2018
i take all the words i wish to write down, and turn them over in my fingers. they can't be too sappy. like my ambien-fueled sentiments from middle school, some things i wish to say are too heavy and sugar laden. they mustn't be too sharp. scars remain from the strung out sentences i used to wrap around my wrists. do they rhyme?
why do i question the words that pool from my mouth? brash women like me dont think before we speak. what i say is tinged by a rusty shadow and leaves a tang in my mouth. do not ask me to take back what i have said, i couldn't stomach that.
Kate Feb 2020
how am i expected to keep a man made of blue tissue paper if i tenaciously spill words made of wine onto his lap ?
he tries to hold me late at night and i cry,
tears burning gaping holes into his paper chest
he is scorched by honesty and soon there won't be much of him left,
how do you stop such natural forces as wildfires and thunderstorms?
oh, to be a lady made of almond soap and frothed cream-
i was cursed with a furor-laden demeanor
fear is sharp and i tuck it between my fingers as i walk home at night,
getting home to him with blood-shot eyes and a fist full of glass that could tear him to shreds
he's here and i'm there, and there are four corners in the room in which we will evade each other.
i fling what i mean across the room and it misses him,
and he won't come closer because he knows that it will only hurt.
and maybe i want it to hurt,
maybe i resent him for being made of soft woven cotton, in comparison i am steel wool and i have never felt less manageable
i cry again on a Tuesday afternoon and he is standing very close,
he's riddled with these craters that are my signature.
i've never been more angry than when he melts under my hand,
the audacity of such fragility,
i never asked for this,
but what i meant to say is that i'd like to keep you
Kate Aug 2018
etched upon a whiteboard- a lament question,
"Does all suffering hold purpose?"
Kate Feb 2020
there is a longing that is growing like a tumor in the spaces between my ribs.
i imagine hearing another woman's name coming from your mouth to be a poisonous cloud that will enter through all the pits on my face and leave me with creamy brains that spill from my ears.
i'm sure she's much easier on the lungs,
a lot less of a woman to take in-
asking for less words.
Kate Oct 2019
The first wine gets me to stop shaking, and the second one starts warming me from my center. And the rage I entered the establishment with on my hands stains the bar a bit, but Pinot spills over it and I no longer care. And I’m twirling the days events between my fingers, but my fingers go slack and I no longer care. And I’m thinking about the man with the wife who visits me occasionally and I think I smell him but I take a sip and I no longer care.
Kate Aug 2018
The bubble wrap you were so fascinated with as a child had a human counterpart. Its name was Caitlin, but she prefers to go by Katy, in hopes of seeming more friendly on paper.
You found this oddity and were immediately taken by it. Eager fingers collapsed the first bubble. From it came a noise so abrasive, you were scared to pop another.
Kate May 2018
There are freckles on my hands that you failed to notice and scars on my knees you picked at with jagged fingernails,
never asking for a story.
I found your mother's name in pieces underneath your bed while mine was tattooed clearly across my chest.
You attribute your silence  to solidarity in independence whereas I argue you are a shell of a man
and god,
i wanted to fill you with all the daisies and honey i had left.
You "Can't Do This Anymore",
a white flag riddled in hopelessness,
I could do this for the rest of my life.
There's muddy footprints outlining the path you took away from me,
I'll place my small step in each one as I follow you slowly,
and perhaps you'll wait for me at the end.
Kate Jan 2017
“You can have all this,” I pull at my skin. “This you may have.”
He prods a finger at my temple,
“I want what's in here.”
His request falls heavily on my chest-
a familiar inquiry posed by only one other petitioner.

“You can't go in there," I remind him.
His face twists in dissatisfaction,
eyes shut in a moment of musing,
and I feel anxiously for fractures along my skull,
afraid that perhaps he has already made his way inside.

His hands sink deep in his coat pockets,
fumbling with loose tobacco and empty dime bags.

Disinterest looms as he ties his laces and fastens his buttons,
I concede.

the shards of my skull are removed hastily,
the semblance of a shattered mirror place in his palms
he turns over each piece, twirling them between his fingers

the shiny pieces are placed amongst the tobacco and baggies in his pockets, the rest are strewn at my feet

"Thanks," trails behind him.
excerpt from my short story

— The End —