3 Poems by Rebecca Kokitus

the beetle

all broken and yellow as
antique things tend to be

there is beauty in oxidation, in
the elements eating through metal

like larvae         through leaf

the smell of rot—I burrow my face in
like the dust and mildew of

my childhood bed, like my
father’s bulging stomach

finger the sheath of snakeskin,
foreboding, it falls apart like autumn

like me, key worn around her throat,
aphids nesting in the ignition

she awaits cremation,
disassemble, dismember

yellow as mortuary skin, cold as
frozen meat beneath mourning lips

then star matter            then decay
then dream turned mausoleum

in a junkyard



summer stain

wild strawberry crushed
on calloused heels, I look

like I’ve been walking
through broken glass

summer is dried blood
or maybe cherry popsicle melt

finding the softest dirt to
blacken my feet with, finding

the overgrown places where
animals go to die—

follow the hollow smell
of rot

summer is playing possum and
waiting for the vultures,

cicada white noise drowning
out the ghosts

each time I sweat through my
ratty wool blanket hair

I feel baptized, each time
the humidity is an arm around my throat

I bare my teeth in a smile—
summer is a blackberry crushed

in my palm, I’m stained
violet as twilight



down the shore

lick my lips and taste salt
as if I was just in tears

the air’s always stirring here
restless as my lover

I tell him if he looks at
another woman, I’ll

drown myself in the sea
then I laugh so he’ll laugh too



About Rebecca Kokitus

Rebecca Kokitus is a poet residing in the Philadelphia area. She is a student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where she studies English with a concentration in Writing. Her work has been published and is forthcoming in over a dozen literary journals. Some of her most recent publications include poems in Mookychick Magazine, SOFT CARTEL, and Lonesome October Lit. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @rxbxcca_anna, and you can read more of her writing on her website:  https://rebeccakokitus.wixsite.com/rebeccakokitus.