Kate Lee: A Writer Doesn’t Need to be Pretty

yesterday, she took my shivering hand and drew a smile

on my palm, eyes bleeding into creases, staring upside

down and me, thinking it looked like a stiff umbrella. i’ll


smile upside down and it’ll collect the thunder. she’s a

human heart attack, clutching at lukewarm water in one

hand and stroking willow lashes with the other. oh my


marmalade, she whispers. we carry cities on bruises. i

scrawl this on my shoulder and tell myself i’m getting

better at this writer thing. i dream about writers. poems


about magnetic poles and leaving yourself intact. tell

myself i’m getting better. swallow watermelon, cold &

feeble, reminiscent of wet grass. draw a throat with


charcoal, wipe words on lips. if i was a writer, i wouldn’t

need to be pretty. she fingers linen pages and sips beauty,

her flower children: zinnia, primrose, forsythia, cracking


petals. bloodlines of prose; mother, please. fog as i mouth

a two-line poem and watch the storm ask for a home. wash

fuchsia off earlobes, real writers wouldn’t. wouldn’t drink


watered down floods. wondering about rain. pain. what

the earth withstands-

maybe the words will come tomorrow.