Weaker than Water

"In the world, there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it." –Lao Tzu


Leave a comment

A Christmas Love Poem

Love is like playing telephone.
You remember, don’t you,
connecting two tin cans with a thin wire?
The concept was there, but it’s hard
to carry words through thin air
and have them translate correctly.
The metal gets in the way.

If I had money, I’d buy you a phone
for Christmas. Not a cheap one like mine.
Something with all the gadgets you use.
No contract required. If it breaks,
we find a way to fix it ourselves.

But for now, we’re stuck with cans.
Please don’t cut the cord.

-Katherine Gotthardt

Advertisements


Leave a comment

What Fear Looks Like

One would think
I’d have learned by now
not to get too close,

because once I do,
the next day
you back away

towards the other.
In one moment,
we’re near enough

to breathe each other’s breath.
I want to touch your face,
finger the rough edges

around your mouth
where you never
bother to shave,

run my tongue across your lips,
kiss your neck
where the base meets

your collarbone,
revel in the smell
of the oneness

you made me believe in,
put my hand on your chest,
feeling the t-shirt beneath,

hiding the heartbeat
I know is there,
pumping for someone else.

copyright 2016, Katherine Gotthardt


Leave a comment

Art Class

Some muses are better than others.
You, you’re pretty good,
and I don’t even need you naked.
I’m no artist in that sense, and besides,
I’d be mortified studying you
in front of a class.

I won’t describe your body here,
except to say I don’t
know anything about it
(other than what you show on Facebook,
and that’s just enough
to percolate intrigue
like a pot of dark, brewing coffee.
It smells so damn good).
Am I a bad person,
using you this way?

At least I told you. Sometimes
I don’t tell, don’t bother to ask,
not once nod in the direction
of inspiration. I’m sorry.
It hasn’t always been about you.

It’s about me and my writing
and how I’m so needy,
ordering out someone else’s energy
to quench the thirst
of my poet’s dry throat.

On the outside,
she’s a ridiculous middle-aged woman.
On the inside,
she sits in the front row
and marvels at your complexity
flexing in front of an analytical
group of parched hippies.

You’re too good for that.
May I be excused?


Leave a comment

Wretched

My head is spinning.
No, not from overthinking,
literally spinning from the inside.
It’s this damn tinnitus.
Gets me every time.

I’m going to barf.
I want to close my eyes
and sleep it off,
but it doesn’t work that way.
And since I’m so miserable,
I might as well write poetry
and tell you, no,
I’m not horny right now (maybe later)
and please, will you understand
what I’m looking for?

I’m not some aging whore
wanting to be thrown away.
I want us to last a few seasons,
find a reason to talk every day,
look you in the eye and say,
“My God, but I love you,”
and, “God help me, I love you.”

Go ahead now.
It’s your turn to barf.

copyright 2016, Katherine Gotthardt


Leave a comment

Aftermath

I don’t know.
The smell of your collarbone,
wild with life
and a pale coating
of musk cologne,
burrow their way
into my own
and stay there
for days, no matter
how much I shower.

I’m not trying
to wash it away.
No, my own odor
doesn’t say ardor
the way yours does,
and I am lonely with it,
there, in hot water,
with no help
because I cannot reach
the places you can.

I think I’m in trouble.

I think too much.
When you said, “Remember me,”
I took it too seriously.
Because when all you can do
is remember, it becomes
rumination, and the shrinks tell me
that’s not healthy.
So that’s me. Unhealthy.

So be it. So be it that memory
clasps hands with fantasy
and skips like a child
through some autumn field
where long weeds
looking like wheat
greet us up to our hips,
graze our fingertips,
smelling like love
and changing seasons.

I think I’m in trouble.

copyright 2016, Katherine Gotthardt


1 Comment

Jumble

You agreed
to be my muse,

not knowing
what that meant,

how my sleepy Bengal
will lick his paws

and read the poetry
you inspire.

He’ll hear my keys
being tapped

by my cracked nails,
and the thumping

of my leg
against my desk

(because I can’t seem
to sit still, ever)

as I think about
the planet, the way

the world juggles
its people and their

twitching cities,
the way this

God thing gets
under my skin,

the moment I met you,
the second I forgot you,

the eloquent eulogies
I plan for my funeral,

the stupid things
I contemplate:

the tall drinking glass
that doesn’t shine anymore,

the lemon oil
I add to my water,

the spiral bound book,
the calculator,

the business cards,
the brooch,

the ounce
of protection

I might have
given myself

had I not asked
you to be mine.

KMG
March 21, 2015