by Katie Pukash
My voice is a hieroglyph
hunting for a cave to call home.
I cut my hair for this.
I have seen all my mother’s untouched jewelry.
I have worn out the family noose
by tying knots around everything that is swollen.
There is a nightlight in my childhood bedroom without a bulb.
Ask me how I survived
and I will tell you that half of my teeth are missing.
I will walk you into a scalding bath house
and hand you a pair of sewing scissors.
I cut my hair again.
Every knife in the kitchen drawer is dull
and all the raindrops are nothing but a deaf phone call.
Always dial tone.
My joints are moldy.
My nerves are wet.
The pansies decided not to bloom this year.
I prune away my elbows, instead,
take away the dead voids and propagate them
until they start to show roots.
I am calloused.
They tell me I have not survived the way a wrench would.
I cut my hair once more.
I paint a crop circle on every forehead,
and grease the gate that won’t welcome me.
Because this is all just from the tap,
disguised as holy water,
and fed over the tombstones that I purchased yesterday.
Artist: Olivia Steele
Katie Pukash is a writer and poet based in Boise, Idaho. Her work has appeared in Rising Phoenix Review, Yay! LA, Ink&Nebula, among others. She has competed at three National Poetry Slam competitions as a member of Team Boise. She has seen Group Piece Finals Stage at the National Poetry Slam both in 2014 and 2018. Katie has a self published chapbook of love poems called Senecas and Stun Guns and a miniature chapbook of predictive text poems titled Press that Twice.