Kate Litterer



I Can Do It Myself

I am Juliet's velvet dress.
I am Marie Antoinette's ridiculous hair.
I am Princess Diana's bulimia rot.
I am a crisis hotline.
I am Tank Girl from the movie Helpless Tank Girl.
I am the meat industry.
I am never going to be rehired because I am unreliable.
I am vague fingers.
My name was caught and ripped and regenerated.
My name is Mr.'s.
My name is a tattoo removed.
My name is whatever you say it is.
My name is Witness Protection Agency.
My name is four letters, one e.
You forgot my name and called me hon.
You forgot the natural axis of a human body.
You forgot to clean up the scene.
You forgot that I have feelings.
You forgot to bring me flowers.
I don't like flowers anyway.
I don't like Marie Antoinette’s stupid dress.
I am black miniskirts.
I prefer my limbs move in their natural axis.
I wish Juliet had murdered Romeo in a rage and lived.
I prefer abortions to children.
I am a horrible mother.
I am a wondrous body axis.
I am going to beat you with my own great wings.
I am going to build a wall around you and master you.
I am knowledge.
What I was before you was a black axis.
I am a black widow.
I will widow your body from its axis.
I will meat industry your ability to do manual labor.
I will build you a hospital and name it after me: four big brick letters.
It is whatever I say it is.
My name is I forgot to clean up the scene.
I will call you unreliable without your great wings.




Silent, Waiting

She had been listed in the local classifieds as: BEAUTIFUL GIRL, STRONG AND STURDY COMPANION. As she made her way to her new home she took stock of her current location: a moving metal room. She watched houses pass outside the window's fence. She knew solid ground and did not know moving metal or closed doors. Her hooves gripped the rubber; she locked her knees and swayed but did not touch the walls. It was work. As they passed over a river, she and her farmer together, the pavement turned to grate but she didn't register the difference as anything but tonal and buzzing.

Her new home was bright, her new field open. The sun warmed her back and the night offered her a warm hay bed. Her farmer brought her sweet apples. He always came at seven and noon and five. Alone. She was becoming acclimated to this farm and its tunings: the fence was dry, the house was pretty, the birds played above her where the world was bright and her coat shone under it all. At first the farmer brought her apples by the bucketful. The moon was a cold weight in the sky, pushing down on her back like water. The house drew smoke and it smelled like sweet wood. The farmer turned his lights off, on, off…

Snow coated her. She hungered for apples. The farmer brought her oats. He brought his hands to her coat and they quivered: her beautiful back under his callous hands, his swollen hands over her tender back. He laid his face on her shoulder. They stood together linked, his lips a fence door between her coat and his teeth, until he pulled his own tender self up. She mouthed the oats as he turned from her. She followed his back with her eyes. His feet left dents in the snowy ground and he walked to gate and lifted its lock. The door aired open. Her back pooled with snow. She shivered it off. Five feet from her, with her eyes on his back, the farmer removed his hat, then his jacket. They slumped to the ground. The oats caked between her gum and her teeth where her tongue didn't reach. He unbuttoned then removed his flannel shirt. She set her eyes as he unzipped then rolled down his worn pants, slowly and without shame he laid his naked body on the freezing ground. She waited as snow coated their bodies. She shivered hers off in the silence.