Poetry by Kate S. Parham: “We are still wearing the same clothes/we were born in”

another one

a dim vibrating glow
your fluttering pulse
causing lightbulbs to flicker
over white potatoes

you crept in again
enveloped in shadow
whispering white butter lies
in my cauliflower ear
lightning crack in window pane
an infestation of the marble
room of water vapor walls
warm wooden floor
beneath sweaty bare feet

constructed of crystals
a cucumber mosaic
imagined emerging
elongated wormlike larva
bursts arbitrary evening
butterfly repetition

through misty air distortions
a wingspan, a lifespan
being without concrete definitions
exactitude with blurry edges
magnified to fine pointedness
deformed in perfect symmetry
whispering deafening truths
to my artichoke heart
what are you?

metallic in taste
silky to touch
languid, fluid, weak
dwindling spindly spinning
on the edge of madness

lack of logic
upsets my stomach
causing mental shouts
lists of commands
demanding you to
be rhythmically free
a baroque and broken bug
a color whose hue
is somewhat less yellow

be the equinox around the ecliptic
curving slightly upward
the corners of the mouth
you moth, your flavor
smoky and raw, pepper
and rose — a fluttering sneeze
then the breeze picks you up
takes you away

inhabiting my space
a line drawing, finely calculated
a graph on a grid
connected geometrically
meticulous squares and corners
disrupted by your form and motion
twitching flickering fuzzy presence
making it your own infinity
a scattered sketch in ink
blotting out the sun

your last breath, a spasm
living a life made of dusty
glass and light, finally
landing in a tin
of coffee grounds, wings
made of smoke dissolving
Arabic aroma, more steam forming
a white cross above the corpse
of an infected dissected insect
now deceased, now digested
eternal butterflies always
in my stomach.

Southern Garden

Mason jars brim with moonshine,
with snake venom, poisoned gift
from Eden, trapped sun stilled
for scorching throats, slithering

slow and thick down
like his breath in hers,

the whiskey shards from his
hot panting dog mouth
slicing into her eyes,
their bare feet barely touching
in dirt stained by tobacco
spit, sperm and pollen. She

melts, turning to mud while
nectar and honey slowly drip, drip
from twig tips to chipped porch,
then lying on her back beneath
the stained-glass tree, she
finally opens her eyes to find

a blinding kaleidoscope world
where bottles bloom like magnolias
dark green and sapphire; naked
flowers lie plucked, dropped in wet
dirt, stepped upon; he forgot

to zip his pants up after
sweat poured down from heavens,
no animals as witnesses, just jars
and bottles – the garden’s glass eyes,
reflective surfaces capturing
images played on repeat eternally.

The Return

Beneath bare feet and
twitching purple toes
maritime beetles
slowly quake and meander
in the cracks and holes
between slimy black rocks.
We are still wearing the same clothes
we were born in,
with you bending over,
your nimble fingers gently
plucking at the periwinkle
and pearly dots roaming.
Slick jade snail oil
soaks through the torn skin
paper thin and raw, my lips.
Tiny droplets thrown
by the chilly gray ocean
scattering its seed onto forms –
tourists, lovers, seamen;
creeping and crawling down our faces,
drip dropping mermaid fingerprints
into the sand. Salt
stings our tired eyes
growing heavier as the sun sets,
rays reaching out to us, gold
and black and slow. Damp
hair turns to dank moss,
razorblade shells and an ever-present
roar. Your rose petal eyelids close,
the sun sinks into the sea
the same moment
your thin mouth opens.
My tongue, a slug, slithers
creeping in once again
finding familiar warmth
in its second home.

Vegas, Sunnyside Up

They drew veins and arteries
on the atlas the trucker left beside
peach crates. He laid down
on hot tar, steam forming
a mirage cradling man’s
burnt and twisted frame. Falling

asleep inside a ghost
in the middle of the road.

Hot summer and aren’t we
such odd looking animals?
he said as his heart, cracked
and ancient dinosaur egg,
split open spouting red like
Old Geyser roadkill. Ghost
gulped down the bellywasher
replenishing desert impotence,
a city of fertility, a pulse
marked by the moaning in motels
on that map of the snoring trucker’s,
Odysseus in his wet dream beating
his heart, bathing earth’s dry
tongue and dead weeds where

a desert ghost
gave birth to man.

Kate S. Parham is a poet from Port Royal, SC. She has a bachelor’s in English and dabbles in psychology and film, but writing is her main passion.

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