Katie M

How Much of It Is True?


I remember that we danced, but

I can’t remember dancing.

It’s like being told a story of that

Trip to that amusement park you loved

When you were so many years younger:

You wish you had memories

To match the words and laughs and tears

You trust are offered

In truth,

But there’s nothing.

I remember that he was across

the circle of students,

Still dance-crazy, my freshman year.

My friend was next to me.

Do you think I should ask her

What song it was, et cetera?

But borrowed memories are


Worse than nothing, and

I remember nothing of that moment:

A trailer for a movie that was never released.

It was just one moment my brain lost

Among the excitement of Homecoming,

Maybe lost in the attempt

To be lost

From moments like this

That had no future

And hardly any past.

We were moving away, you see.

It was a matter of months, you see.

I couldn’t remember, you see.

It doesn’t matter now,

But it did then.

Does forgetting mean

I won’t care to remember?

I know what I’ve forgotten, but

How much of it is true?




I nearly trip into a rushing river of rainwater in front of the tan curb as the tremendous burst of thunder hits our eardrums. It reverberates through my bones like a dentist’s drill. We’ve hardly been out of the car for ten seconds, and my feet are already soaked, slimy in my blue flip flops.

“Sarah, come on!” I shout to my sister, giggling a bit despite myself. We hurry over the gleaming wet path, careful to step over the dull puddles between crookedly joined flagstones. The trees arching like dark, mossy standing stones above us hardly provide any cover. The rain drops stick in my hair, making clumping tangles. Annoyed, I hoist my tote bag over my head, feeling the grate of the canvas under my hands. I envy the man who passes us, walking by under an umbrella.

In sunlight, it’s a short walk, but in this downpour, it seems like an eternity. By the time we splash our way into the mercifully dry lower entrance, Sarah, obviously enjoying the summer storm, is cackling like the Wicked Witch. I tell her so. She replies that she, at least, doesn’t melt in the rain.

Of course, she didn’t really mean that. But careless talk, as they say, when unexpectedly passing by holes in space-time, can result in accidentally causing one’s sister to melt into another universe. So that’s how I got here, kids. Been here ten years now. Been teaching here at the school for three. I’m probably the only person to have crossed between universes, but by the very nature of this tragic accident, it’s hard to tell how many victims are out there, forced to live in the wrong universe.

So, the moral of the story is words have power, and make sure not to cast any jinxes on your best buddy by accident. Now, that’s the bell, so it’s time for recess. Remember not to taunt the pet trimkle. It’s teething and can get a bit fiery.


Walking in the Dark


I like walking in the dark

Not dark like a coffin

Suffocating, confusing, an absence

Dark like a shadow

The kind where it’s a bit harder to see

But your eyes adjust

Dark where you can hide from the light
A distant flash, like a camera

Someone I follow on Instagram

Was at the bombings in Istanbul

But even as I blink, startled

There are burns on the insides

Of my eyelids

From mushroom clouds of light

From lights so bright that they linger

From the story I’ve been told

Of my mother’s cousin who was at work

In New York City on 9/11


And I can only guess at how

Those closer to the light

Got burned so badly that the only way

To feel better

Was to throw spears of light

Into other people’s darkness

Others’ safety for their pain

And I can only guess at how

Those farthest from the light

Get so used to a safe, utter darkness

That tiny sparks of discomfort

Make them feel attacked

That seeing a shadow darker than theirs

Makes them feel cheated
I suppose I will never

be able to see

Through those people’s eyes

I hope I will never

have to see

Out of those people’s eyes
I, for one

Hope that, if I have to

One day

Open my eyes to a spotlight

I will stand still

And wait for my burns

To heal in the shadows lent to me

By my family and friends

In the companionship

Of those patient enough

To bide their time as the dark comes back

As we dream of a time

When the last burn victims

Pass on the world to a generation

Who has never seen the light

And never will.
Until then, I’ll keep walking

In the dark

And offer my shadow

To those who need it.




Climbing ivy

Is giant-like,

Yet, the sky

Is so far away

From my outstretched hand that

It seems unreachable,

Like a crevice

Whose depths we cannot fathom.

But that goal

Is my heart beating,

All that I can hear.

I shall cease

To exist in this

Constant straining.

It is like a feverish dream

That no one can wake you from,

The realization

That no one can hide from.

In this lovely climbing

Ivy, you must bury yourself

In the shadows of

All those veins

Pulsing as one, like

Reaching mindlessly

For a dried, rootless branch:

The spirit falling

Then catching,










Then catching

The spirit falling

For a dried, rootless branch,

Reaching mindlessly,

Pulsing as one, like

All those veins

In the shadows of

Ivy. You must bury yourself

In this lovely climbing.

No one can hide from

The realization

That no one can wake you from

A feverish dream.

It is like constant straining

To exist in this.

I shall cease.

All that I can hear

Is my heart beating,

But that goal

Whose depths we cannot fathom,

Like a crevice,

It seems unreachable

From my outstretched hand that

Is so far away,

Yet, the sky

Is giant, like

Climbing ivy.


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