Looking up at the sky when I was five, it seemed
to me no one else could see it. This one wasn’t falling
but it was too big and too bright blue-yellow-
white and there were too many people beneath it.
My mother dragged me out the door, chasing margaritas,
ignored my trembling goldfinch shoulders, did not
understand why I was sick on the floor of the Mexican
restaurant across the street from our apartment.
It was the summer I ate only greens. The heat
a conspiracy of elements telling me I didn’t belong,
sandpapering my fear until it was red and bleeding.
Back home, empty of tears, of bile—air-light—
I was numb to a bruise shimmering on my thigh
the same indigo as the shrinking sky.
First published in Now Then Manchester and Losing interest in the sound of petrichor (Black Light Engine Room Press, 2018).
He strokes my hair while I
squeeze into an old dress.
It’s far too small these days,
green-sequinned, an unflattering
cut. I insist on it, need to demonstrate
what I’ve been saying, to prove
him wrong. I’m not gorgeous
and he will change his mind
about wanting to feel my laughter
from the inside. But I offer up
the edges of this moth-gnawed relic.
I hate throwing anything away.
First published in The names of things unseen (in Caboodle, Prolebooks, 2015).
Kate Garrett is the founding editor of Three Drops from a Cauldron, Picaroon Poetry, and Bonnie’s Crew, and her own work is widely published. Her first full-length collection, The saint of milk and flames (Rhythm & Bones Press), and a seventh chapbook, To Feed My Woodland Bones [A changeling’s tale] (Animal Heart Press) are forthcoming in April and September 2019. Born in rural southern Ohio, Kate moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat.