The last time I bit my brother,
he was nine. I was six. I don’t know why
my furious teeth broke his unsuspecting skin,
but to my disgust, he cried. I reasoned
that he was just nine, that boys cry. But
so unbecoming—loud wails, puffy
eyes—I never bit him again.
He made me cry when I was 16, saying
girls couldn’t drive—couldn’t park
straight, got lost all the time. I clenched
my furious teeth. I bit through my own lip.
I had to learn that when he calls me ‘Sis’
he means, ‘I love you.’ Why
must his ownership be his love?
Once, he pedaled furiously to the corner
house that sent me home crying
in hot anger, biting my tongue.
What did he do
to the boys there? Hit them,
maybe. That’s what boys do
to show they love what’s theirs.
Katelyn Roth graduated from Pittsburg State University with her Master’s in poetry. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press and at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. Currently, she lives, works, and writes in Kansas City.
August Co-Editor and Past Poet Laureate of Kansas (2017-2019) Kevin Rabas teaches at Emporia State University, where he leads the poetry and playwriting tracks and chairs the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism. He has twelve books, including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner. He is the recipient of the Emporia State President’s and Liberal Arts & Sciences Awards for Research and Creativity, and he is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award for Poetry.
August Co-Editor Linzi Garcia can be found frolicking through fields, cemeteries, and bars across the states, gathering poetry along the way. She recently received her MA in English at Emporia State University, where she served as the assistant to Former Poet Laureate of Kansas Kevin Rabas and to Bluestem Press. Her first poetry collection, Thank You was published by Spartan Press (2018), and her co-written chapbook Live a Great Story was published by Analog Submission Press (2019). She is always looking to invest time in new places where she can absorb new perspectives