three poems – rebecca kokitus

deer

sagittarius

the music of his teeth grinding
isn’t enough to lull me to sleep

there is a draft in the room, there is
a freedom in letting yourself shiver

I think your ghost would be a fever
leaving dew on my flesh

I keep picturing your parents
finding you

the guilt flickers on my eyelids
you told me you were so tired

I told you sleep
I told you sleep

I pray to whichever deity will
have me

pray to the goddesses you favor
to hold you to their breast

on Sylvia’s birthday you chose
rope over the kitchen stove

but your throat refused to collapse,
your neck contorted

like a waist
in a corset

your sigh pushed through
like fire, like dragon breath

 

die clean

I woke up this morning and
weighed one thirty-one (point seven)

I stand in the mirror, hair creeps
from the sides of my underwear

like ivy through a window,
cobwebbed skin

like a bruise you were
just starting to forget

blue veins spider-step
over hips and breast, threadbare

dead girl, no rigor mortis
I am still so, so soft

and pockmarked like a
plush moon in a picture book

she tells me “you’re beautiful
but you should probably eat something”

I say let this body feed on the
broad shoulders, spineless back

I know I’m normal, I know
I’m like everyone else—

I wash my mouth out in the mornings
and forget to at night

cut anyone open and find
only one heart, find yesterday’s shame

I am not an animal, I am
not otherworldly

I will repeat this until
it is true

 

future plans

I consider my future
the way a deer
considers the hunter

I’m so afraid of dying
that I’ll throw myself
through a windshield

cropped-dead-bird-clip-art.jpg

Rebecca Kokitus is a poet residing in the Philadelphia area. She has had poetry and prose published in various journals and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018. Her poetry chapbook, Blue Bucolic is forthcoming from Thirty West Publishing House in 2019. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @rxbxcca_anna, and you can read more of her writing on her website: https://rebeccakokitus.wixsite.com/rebeccakokitus.

Photo: Sebastian Grochowicz

“die clean” is in reference to Thinner, a novel by Stephen King.

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