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Kate Porter poetry

Months drop off the calendar.
Nothing changes
But the weather.
Dirty mugs still litter the sink.
The neighbor’s dog still barks
At every passerby,
And so we live
In silence.

Didn’t there used to be snow
This time of year?

I seem to recall a blanket,
A window blank as paper,

Air crisp as ice.
But now it is late

Winter and nothing
But rain streaks the glass.

When building boats, we try
To hold out against the waves.

Some boats are beautiful. Some
Do the job. When you need to cross

Whatever seas need crossing, you
Sometimes need to build a boat.

Though you do not know how
To build or boat. Though you have

No tools or oars. Just
A bedsheet patterned like clouds:

A single sail,
A breath of wind.

All the cool kids
Have children now
And jobs in the city.
Late nights just stories
Told at brunch.


Kate Porter is a full-time bartender and part-time poet. Her work has appeared in The Writing Disorder and Ziggurat.

Winter fell like a hammer.
Days cut off at the knees.
Was this house always so dark?
Was that tree always so menacing?

The moon is swollen and seeps
into the clouds. A baby howls,
then a dog. Songbirds all gone silent.
What is that rustling in your chest?

It was Thursday when the doors closed
for good. I went home but couldn’t
sleep. Body accustomed to living
by starlight – rising at dusk, sleeping
at dawn. The cats and I keep
the same schedule. Nocturnal,
not lonely. I name the foxes
that shuffle through the garden.

I miss the sound of glasses clinking
in hands, dishwashers. Miss
the steamy windows. The jostling
for space. The smell of old beer
in hair, clothes. Miss
Friday nights and your hands
rolling cigarettes, waiting
for my break.

Now it’s always Monday, always
noon. Now my hands are
the only hands and
everything is already broken. No
cigarettes, just these few
empty rooms and a pair
of ceramic wrens silent
on the bookcase.


Kate Porter is a full-time bartender and part-time poet. She has been writing for years but has only recently begun submitting work for publication. This is her first publication outside her local paper.