Kaci Skiles Laws is a writer and artist living in Dallas—Fort Worth. Her work has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, Pif Magazine, Unlikely Stories, The American Journal of Poetry, and a few others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by NCTC’s English Department and is currently working on a children’s book called The Boogerman. Some of her acoustic music and visual artwork can be viewed on her and her husband’s YouTube channel listed under Kaci and Bryant. Facebook link: https://m.facebook.com/kaciskileslawswriter/
My Fictitious Faberge Bee
I revisit the past in pictures
and think that looking back means
memories never change,
that my cling could never skew
a still frame,
but like a biting hand clasp—
my recall is a dying flash.
It’s my inability to let
childhood elude the fluctuating lens,
to attune to sepia decay,
the over-exposure, the gray-rimmed
ream of descending white,
to ask—Who am I?
I can still make out my heart sweater,
Willie the sheepdog of the litter I chose,
under orange descent, red dyes,
rose gold glasses, and the
wisdom in the photo’s whitewash.
Somewhere in a light wave I see
my grandmother catch a process in a scurry,
a mark of eternal progress that fades
but stays a pixel the same,
each piece a fleck of peach. I hold
two reflective surfaces curtseying,
each tendril—dust of us.
Do we keep pictures to remember or forget?
I inherited a bouquet of dandelion parachutes,
the woman who took the photo—
her brooch and pearl white
skin to stick it in
to feel the sharp end.
I want to bend its brittle counterfeit wings,
to remedy my intermittent memory.