Passion is being in love with the world is when a color isn’t one color or another one is smiling at someone you don’t know and them smiling back, loving each other in that moment is flannel sheets is porcelain cups is cypress leaves is the smell of sugar on gentle hands”
Katie Clark is a queer poet on the verge of the twenties who belongs to a lot of places: Jacksonville, parts of Georgia, the pioneer valley. Likes planting things and being alive. Katie’s poems have been in Vagabond City, Voicemail Poems, and Words Dance. Tweets @octupiwallst.
I READ YOUR HOROSCOPE ON AUTOSTRADDLE ACCIDENTALLY
this month should be good for you
so says astrology, so says Corina, the astrologist
who said this
she likes dandelion tea
and i know you know why that would matter
i have been thinking a lot about being alive / in the way i was alive / when you watched me do handstands / behind fort caroline /
it was september still,
still, we were only who we could be:
red in the ways
summer skinned us raw our bodies in the grass,
your name carved into the city
i have been thinking a lot about being in love with you at 17 / at 18 / at 19 / and now im 20 and i still am / but it’s different
it’s call me when you get home
it’s yellow roses not red ones, maybe
but it was always like that, huh?
i am trying to say i’m in love
with someone who isn’t you and this is weird
i am trying to say i’m in love
with someone who isn’t you and i think you would like her
but maybe not (based on principle)
i know we’re adults now so
things aren’t allowed to be simple anymore:
we say “friends” and it’s funny because we’ve seen each other naked
careful girl, the world wasn’t made with marble
careful, the world wasn’t made of peach flesh
not like you,
you: many miles and raspberry seeds
you: blackberry briars and the blood they bring
you like it that way, i know.
something soft, many.
corina, you were right
corina, thank you.
APOLOGY FOR THE EIGHT CALLS I DIDN’T TAKE FROM MY MOTHER IN EIGHT VOICEMAILS I DIDN’T LEAVE HER
im sorry i havent been answering its just when i was little and busted my knees you would bleed for me and i cant come sleep in your bed until this passes
the past few months taste like counting backwards from a thousand and hydrogen peroxide and unless i swallow them i know anyone i kiss for the next 100 years will taste the spit she left in my mouth
at first it was my body and now its everything else that isnt mine anymore which makes it harder to love which makes it harder to live in which makes all of this feel a little bit like standing on your head until the blood rushes down and this is the moment where the world goes dark
this is the moment where the world has been dark but ive been pressing fingers into my eyes to see phosphenes, just anything but this dark and im so sorry i didnt notice the sun kicked out im sorry i didnt notice that the sun could kick out without even noticing i was shutting my eyes that hard
we never had a basement in florida because it would’ve flooded and i brought that here i am flooding this basement and you are holding me and you are not here but you are holding me and i am glad for a moment when i remember grape fruits names dont make sense and i promise i am glad when i am with my friends and when i call you on the phone and you say things like i love you very much darlin
i want you to know i still love this life and i dont want to let it go the way i do sometimes and im not letting it go its just ive been trying to hold more of it in my hands than i can right now and i cant blame my hands because our hands werent made watertight and i told someone who asked me once about this their hands full of riverwater i said i thought this was poetry but now im thinking maybe its just the body
and had you asked me two months ago i wouldve told you the body is a synonym for the best poem youve ever read and i know i still mean that but maybe sometimes we have to become worser versions of ourselves to keep the goodness safe until were ready to hold it out to the world again
and this is me promising to keep my hands out this is me promising to keep my eyes open and tomorrow may be golden maybe but today it’s this for now the aftermath but tomorrow is still something– i’ll call you then.
“i read your horoscope on autostraddle accidentally” + “apology for the eight calls i didnt take from my mother in eight voicemails i didn’t leave her” are previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance Issue #013