Katie / Katrina

You never called me Katie before;
found the word too short, too young –
preferred that extra syllable, the push of
tongue – you liked to use your mouth.
You knew I was never a girl; maybe made
woman too soon, but came out of the
womb older – ten fingers, ten toes,
one soul – older.
Didn’t know how to equate that word with this;
– didn’t know how to love a Katie –
didn’t know how to kiss
a Katie – didn’t know how to hold
a Katie.
She got stuck in your throat like a laugh;
warmed your skin like a hot summer sun;
tasted like Coca-Cola.
Her hands were not my hands.
I fought it for so long.
The name my father pulled
from his black hat like a promise –
Katrina – like
he knew my mother gave birth
to a storm.
Katrina, the men will know
how to undress you; love will know
how to leave you; and you –
you will know how to use what’s left
to write poems about the sound
of your own winds gathering.
Wild and strong, Katrina;
shaking their hearts, Katrina;
baring your teeth, Katrina;
holding it all, Katrina –
you have to hold it all.

1 comment
  1. this is a very beautiful and empowering poem. i really enjoy it!

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