by Amy Kotthaus


My fingers attend

each dip and dent.

No favorite children here.

The deep ones,

born of fire and spirits,

the shallow that came

as portents of seething

storms and visits

to healers prying shards

of glass from the truth.

They know.

A few chafe where

my consideration prods

grit healed over with skin.

They say you forget

the birthing pains,

but I will them back,

hold each push and tear

and letting of blood,

swaddled in the opaque film

of memory, to recall when

I’m not free to caress

them in the open.

I won’t let my thick hair grow

and obscure his kiss.

I need to be able to touch

each part of that black boot

print when I’m alone

to remember that I killed

both of us to stand here.


Amy Kotthaus is a writer, translator, and photographer. Her poetry has been published in Ink in Thirds, Yellow Chair Review, Haiku Journal, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Gnarled Oak, and Section 8. Her photography has been published in Storm Cellar, Ground Fresh Thursday, Crab Fat Magazine, Quantum Fairy Tales, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Digging Through the Fat.


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