Friday, May 12, 2023

Two Poems by Kat Falacienski


(I was once asked what kind
of animal I would want
to turn into, which species
would unsheathe
my self
And everyone else was going hawk
and wolf and lion
And I chose
a honeybee)

(And I imagined
someone asking Why? Bees
don’t live long

And I thought about
how Jacqueline Woodson
once wrote that on paper,
a butterfly never dies
And I’d like to think
she’d extend
the same grace
to me)

At home, I know the insects
only by their sounds.
The high-pitched hum
that sounds more like
a machine
than a living being.
The batlike squeak
and rustle of wings.
The fwt of someone
jumping and gliding
and landing.
The ones in the junipers,
clicking constantly
like invisible rain,
busy in the way
that only
small things
can be.

is how I wanna be:
heard but not seen.
the food network

The lady on the food network has red hair, the color of cinnamon in the evening. It’s just past eight a.m. and my eyelids are gooey as I blink beneath bare fluorescent lights. She is demonstrating how to make food to watch the Super Bowl with, food you can scoop into your mouth without looking, food that is just pleasurable enough to relax your tongue but not so good that you have to close your eyes. 

I had no idea the Super Bowl was even happening.

Two hours later I have not left this building. Instead, I am lying on a chair that is pretending to be a bed, my arms and legs scrunched up tight, staring at a tame blue wall through the threads of a blanket. I couldn’t breathe before. I felt like I was falling, the air yanked from my lungs so fast they nearly turned inside out. Now, the tips of my toes have touched something solid; now, the contents of my chest have settled. But I’m impatient: I mean I haven’t been down here that long, right? I wanna claw my way back up. I haven’t missed much, right? I wanna rewind, go back in time. Back before all of this happened. Back when my hair still shone cinnamon red in the soft evening sunlight. Back when I thought that things like this only happened to other people. 

I think I’ve hit rock bottom.

But then, I remember the lady on the food network, remember the way she slit open a plastic bag of Chips Ahoy cookies, plopped several flavors of ice cream into the bag, and drowned the whole thing in sickly syrup. Then she gets a spoon and just starts eating right out of the bag. Look, she says, a portable sundae. In the blue room I close my eyes and finally feel a little lighter. Not because I’ve seen the light or whatever, but because I suspect that behind that TV smile, behind the shimmering hair and the symmetrical face, the lady on the food network with her gooey go-girl sundae is most definitely tasting the bitterness of her own lipstick. 
Biography: Kat Falacienski is a student at Colorado College. She has been published in Teens Resist, Affinity Magazine, the Catalyst, Cipher Magazine, Leviathan Magazine, and YOGURT Culture Zine. She has also been featured in Quincy Hansen's book Shake It Up! How to Be Young, Autistic, and Make an Impact.

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