I lived in you, growing as your
You wanted me so badly.
I came early, ripe and blue.
Skin too tender to touch,
an inside full of sweetness,
already picked, already loved.
Now you live in me
alive and electric.
When I bruise,
no matter how many times
I fall blindly,
you cup me in your hands,
wash me off, and remind me
of my own richness.
O’ mommy please never
stop carrying me with your
Without you, I tumble.
Without you, I was rotten.
Mother, mommy, mama,
you keep me and life forever
fresh and new.
When a car whizzes by, it’s common
knowledge to know it’s simply headed
somewhere new. Distant or down the road.
The people inside form thoughts
like you and me. They breathe, exist,
but their car is gone. They’re still there
even if no longer can you see people
in full view.
Nineteen years old, and you still question
every word I say like a child, like a baby.
Are they really gone?
I’m still living, yet you ask how my heart
can manage to pump without you.
Baby, I exist when I’m no longer seen or heard.
If a tree falls in the forest, it still makes a sound.
You love when I mother you. You love when we
play games so I cover my eyes with my hands
when I hear screaming. When you can’t see
my tears well, telling me they’re wrong.
Look! I’m gone! I don’t exist! I’d rather hide
then let you remember I ever existed at all.
Her Veins, Her Face, I Can’t Erase
Waking up in a fever sweat,
my heart knocking on my ribs
with an angry rapid fist, eyes
shuttering open like film
on a wheel spinning out control
like the walls
like the confusion between
reality and my nightmares
dripping in the aftermath of a thunderstorm
my back tingles and my lips
quiver quickly into fear.
In a nightmare she exposed
our digital intimacy.
How many times do I have
to fear the minutes I’m unconscious?
She’s always there.
I want to crush the pixels
in my hand, smash the phone that reads 3:43
Biographical Note: Kailey Tucker is a 20-year-old upcoming poet based currently in Florida. She is a Poetry Editor for Flare: The Flagler Review and a Staff Writer for Strike Magazine. In 2020, she released her first full-length poetry book, Excerpts from 18. You can find it on kaileytucker.com. She has had her poetry published in multiple publications and performs her poetry across the southeast, hosting poetry open mics.