I lived in you, growing as your

little fruit.

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

unconditional care.

Without you, I tumble.

Without you, I was rotten.

Mother, mommy, mama,

you keep me and life forever

fresh and new.


Object Permanence


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 She has had her poetry published in multiple publications and performs her poetry across the southeast, hosting poetry open mics.