Rebecca Kokitus: 2 Poems

grief on her sleeve

I envy my mother and the way

she wears her grief on her sleeve

I have mine tattooed on my forearm

in an attempt to do the same

when I cry, I cry for all

the fatherless girls

those wishing wells gone dry

lovers flung like pennies

when it finally rains it

smells of blood and gunmetal

my body is a flooded graveyard,

my father’s corpse resurfacing

mourning after

the morning after he died

I prayed to my father for

forgiveness while I prepared

my menthol cigarette breakfast

apologized for wrapping

my mouth around his killer

like a lover, sucking out the venom

as if I could still save him

this was my way of

trying to conjure him

and he spoke to me then—

in breezesong, in the call of

a crow perched in a maple,

he told me smoke and ghosts

are genetically similar the way

they say humans and rats are—

he told me god was toying with me

at that very moment, like a cat

blowing out ghosts like smoke rings,

watching me watch them dissolve


Rebecca Kokitus is a poet residing in the Philadelphia area. She is a student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she studies English with a concentration in Writing. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram and @rxbxcca_anna, and you can read more of her writing on her website: https://rebeccakokitus.wixsite.com/rebeccakokitus