Three Poems – Rebecca Kokitus

closet skeleton 


my spine feels wrong, like

someone dissected me 

in my sleep and took 

a single vertebra, souvenir 


if I gained the 20 lbs 

I starved away, a doctor 

could blame the pain 

on my body 


the truth is that my bones 

are hollowing themselves like

storm strewn trees 

but I look indestructible, 


the way a well-bred animal does—

watch me flay myself to prove 

my own biology,


to find the textbook skeleton

in the closet of my flesh 





when I tell people I’m bored they take it to heart 

but it’s nothing personal—I’ve been bored

my whole life 


why is it that I only feel real when I’m 

pushing 100 mph in my piece of shit ford 

on 20 mg of ritalin or 

breaking someone’s heart


real means overwhelmed 

means heat lightning on my eyelids 

when a hand strikes my cheek


night sky turns orange near the city 

like manmade aurora borealis 

stomach acid morning breath putrid 

I’m racing toward it always

I don’t know why


—I don’t want to be where 

I’m going, literally or 



I’d imagine that would feel like

crawling into bed alone, still 

dizzy drunk 


wake up and the dry heaves

echo against porcelain skull


but I won’t be able to 

sick it up—the self I’d been before


that rancid sky sour girl, I 

miss her 



rose honey 


I bandage myself up, watch

the honeycomb bloat 


rose honey overflow, I 

read them like a palm reader


these are my lifelines, 

proof that I am alive


when he touches me, I 

miss being touchstarved


when he’s in me I’m a 

swordswallower, I bleed 

from the mouth down


searing like shearing, 

he shears me, sheepish


bald as a newborn, 

he likes me helpless