Give me coffee rings on borrowed books
with dog-eared pages, nicotine fingers
dragging roughly across chapped lips.
Give me boots scuffed and untying,
worn away at the heel and cracking at the sides.
Things that look like they’ve lived
the life that I’ve been too afraid to.
I need to hold on to something, to feel something
so badly that I can feel its chipped nails
digging deep into my bruising skin.
Let me stop spending my evenings
sitting in cooling bath tubs long after
the bubbles have died, unshaved legs
jutting from beneath the surface, unmoving.
Instead I’ll spend twilight in rooftop parking lots
letting distant voices sweep the metal pieces
of my soul, scour it clean, brush it bare.
May my fingers shake less now,
may they stop losing hold of all
that I’ve caught close against me.
Kayla Klugow is a Senior undergraduate from Northwestern Wisconsin at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in the Creative Writing – Poetry program. She has previously been published in Grassroots and Green Blotter.