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Kay Reed Apr 2020
its 7:45am and i'm barefoot in my grandparents kitchen
freshly brewed coffee steams in my grandfather's mug
as cinnamon rolls bake in the oven.
the tile is cold.
his smile is warm.

he lets me lick the spoon after he spreads the icing.
we pretend to fight over the best roll, he lets me win.

today, i was alone in my kitchen in a different state.
my coffee was mixed with bailey's and it steamed in my mug.
i bake the same brand of cinnamon rolls in my oven.
the tile is cold.
i smile at the thought of him.

i lick the icing off the spoon out of habit, its almost too sweet.
i don't have to fight for the best one.
Kay Reed Mar 2019
do you ever think about our old house?
the yellow one
with the red door
and uneven steps

i do

i think about whoever might live there now

i wonder if they can feel our presence
lingering in the walls of what used to be
our bedroom

i wonder if the footsteps of the ghost of our love
keeps them up at night

i wonder if they can hear the echo of the front door slamming
the walls shaking
the shatter of the picture frame that fell
the sound of your car door closing

i wonder if they found the sock that fell behind the dryer

i wonder if the door frame that we broke ever got fixed

i wonder if they wonder about us

sometimes i try and pin point the exact moment we lost ourselves
but there isn't a single moment

the ache of it still keeps me up at night
Kay Reed Mar 2019
i've spent weeks
curling up
pulling my legs in,
knees to chest
occupying as little space as possible

small enough to fit in any
empty area in your life
small enough to take up
any vacant corner
that you'd let me exist in

but i will not make myself small
i will not make myself small

i will
not
make
my
self
small

i will not make myself small
enough to be an after thought
when i deserve center stage of your psyche

i will not make myself small
just so that i can be in the same room as you

but i will not make myself small
i will not make myself small

i will
not
make
my
self
small
Kay Reed Jan 2016
If you asked the locals, they'll tell you to watch out; "She has a tendency to set things on fire and then walk a fair distance away to watch them burn," the women at the pastry shop will tell you in a hushed voice. "I'm not talking about things like paper, or logs, or houses. Her arson is worse. Typically its the hearts of those who tried to love her that she's likely to set aflame." And then under her breath she'll warn you, "keep an eye out for that one and keep a fire extinguisher handy."

If you asked the bartender at the bar two blocks down and one block left of the apartment she used to live in, he'll look up from the ***** glass he's watching and shake his head. "She's a wild one. Some days she'll show up with a book, sometimes a pen and paper. More often than not, though, she'll walk in with a blank face and order a double shot of Jameson. I mean I know she's got Irish blood, but I've never seen a grown man shoot whiskey like that with a straight face. The **** doesn't phase her." He'll finally dry off that glass and set it on the counter and ask you what you'll have that evening. And you'll order a double shot of that Irish whiskey just for the sake of irony. "She's somethin' else, man. Drinks her coffee black." He'll shake his head again and then direct his attention to the red head at the end of the bar.

Oh, but if you ask her mother...if only you asked her mother. She'd tell you, "She's always been a little lost. Her soul never rested for long. Doesn't say much anymore. Never home much, either. Not sure where she goes or what she spends her time doing, but I hope it makes her happy. She's been gone awhile. Mentally, I mean." And then she'll look out the window of the front room, her hands wrapped so tightly around her coffee mug her knuckles will turn white, and a look will pass over her face. And you'll wonder if heartbreak is genetic, if it was passed through generations, or if it was just a learned trait.

Because you have seen that look before, on the face of her daughter when you first mentioned all those years ago how you thought you loved her. And you'll feel a tiny pull in the center of your chest. And you'll wonder if maybe you'll run into her by chance on the corner of 14th and Clay street, or at that coffee shop she always took you to.

Or maybe you'll be going through your closet at the start of next fall, and pull out an old jacket you retired when spring rolled around and find some relic of her in the pocket. Maybe an empty cigarette pack, or a pen cap, or a crumpled up napkin with a doodle in the corner that most would throw away, but you'll fold it up and stick it in your wallet for memory's sake. She'd hate the sentiment of it, but love the irony.

If you asked, and if she answered honestly, she'd tell you she never wanted anything substantial, she always hated having a lease, or a car payment, or a tab (she'd always pay on her way out, on the off chance she never came back). She'll tell you she just wanted some freedom. But in the freedom she ended up with, a little string got tied around her ankle. She never knew what the other side was tied to.

And when you hear about this string, you'll remember that little tug you feel in your chest every once in awhile when you know she's on the highway headed towards another city for the weekend with no phone and a few hundred dollars cash. She was never one for leaving a trail.
Kay Reed Dec 2015
I want to bleed into the creases of the comfortable life you've built, the same way your favorite pen bleeds through the page of one of the notebooks you've collected over the years,

because the thing about bleeding ink is it makes its mark on the next few pages, even when you're done and finished with the original page you wrote on.

I want to be stationary and not the kind of stationary that is the home of your to do list or the things you need from the store that always ends up tossed into a pile on your kitchen counter and forgotten about.

I want to be the kind of stationary that a tree is: rooted and solid, but still moves and flows in the breeze

I want to be a defining point you come back to time and time again,

like a bookmark in a book you can't finish, not because of lack of interest but purely because other things held your attention more than I ever could.
Kay Reed Nov 2015
He asked if I believed in God and I said I didn't know
Because its hard to believe in God when you can feel
Your heart breaking into a million sharp edges and
Tearing holes in your lungs
(or is that the consequence of smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in one sitting?)

He asked if I believed in God and I said I didn't know
Because even though I was raised in a church,
You can't recite Bible verses to cast away the pain people have caused you
And singing hymns to the cold that has settled into you nerve endings
Only makes them colder.

He asked if I believed in God and I said,
"I don't know, does God believe in me?"
Kay Reed Apr 2014
I'm sorry I don't always remember
our anniversaries or
that I often forget to tell you
to pick up the dry cleaning
but it's your fault
the milk expired two days ago
and it's still sitting the refrigerator
with the leftovers of that Chinese food
you always get that I refuse to eat and
you forgot to water the house plant
my mother bought for us
and I'm sick to my stomach
because you always steal the
sheets at night and I've become
so very cold inside.
k.l.r.
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