Kae Chatman

When I Touch the Things She Touched

I bring them to my lips
Her red glasses
White panties
Diabetic cookbook
Driving directions to Robin’s house on a pink Post-It note
High school ring from 1969, packed in Saran Wrap

Where once she stood, I linger

In the orange maple shadow where her songs and ashes scatter
Front door with its careful lock and spy hole
Mailbox where she keeps receiving advertisements

The bed we slept in
She died in
I wept in

The bathroom mirror we grinned into with silly, soapy faces

The phantom hand I still reach for in my baffled dreams

Kae Chatman is a queer poet, veteran, and former university professor. Born in New York City and raised in Arkansas, Kae holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University, and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from Kansas University. She has taught at Philander Smith College and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, among others. Kae has poems published or forthcoming in Arkana, Salvation South, NonBinary Review, Sage Cigarettes, and Hallaren Literary Magazine. She still lives in Arkansas with her wife and beautiful dachshund.