by Kay Allen

bad diner coffee?—burnt bitter at the bottom
& no amount of sugar can cover it up. my heart curdled
when he left—sour lumpy buttermilk leaking
out of my chest, spilling onto the checkerboard floor.
i dream of red tides & always wake too early.
i never dream of him.

i knead my heart into different shapes & hope
that one of them holds. my heart as a metronome. my heart
as a horseshoe crab. my heart as a revenant.
i will drink this coffee until it wakes my
rotting bones. i want to burn my soles
on the summer sand, let the sun freckle my face.
i want to be my own ocean.

& you know how the song goes:
maybe everything that dies—

Kay Allen | @koala_allen

Kay Allen’s work revolves around fairy tales, magic, Shakespeare, and punk rock. Originally from small-town New Jersey and currently based in Boston, she holds a Master of Arts in English from Northeastern University. She is the founder and editor of Sword & Kettle Press and a massive Bruce Springsteen fan.

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