By Sarah Kohrs


It began with                   the forgetting.
Sunlight sparked              off keys
Dangling eye-level           near the door;

Yet I walked right by        and had
To come back                   again when
The car remained             silent
Despite being                   helmed.

Winter winds                    (like how cows
With their                         back-itch)
Rub against knurled         trees

Shivering—                      illuminated—
Casually denuded             —and
I wonder why                   human skins’
Sloughings off                  happen so

Gradually                         (like holiday
Gatherings that yield       oohs and aahs
At all the inches               grown).

But those ticking              seconds
Deter such revel               -ations.
It takes accumulating       snapshots or
Those annual pencil         marks

Rising up a                       door jamb
To create a unique           key
For measuring                  our re-

Bound from                      gravity.
And yet, there’s all           that for-
Getting. The pre-              sent is
Perpetual; but so, too,     are we

Perpetually declining       while
Wrangling with                the past.
We’re forgotten,              forgetting.


Unstable and so tire,d
desire to retire, re-
turn and [capture
the motivation for re-
juvenation] / weariness
in the marrow, really.

A caterpillar amble…s
catapults like capillaries
very close to Varicose
as varixed as rippled
mtn ridges or the shellwork

of a mollusk, missing
not quite (inside the pearl-
ized variety), but as in-
tricate in form as the
wings that are formed
on a Viceroy—mimicker

of what has come, what is
now, what will be. Something
in{side or to the side} of you /
of me / of humanity…
aposematic // apocalyptic
to a predator. Rouletted:

a black envelop sealed
with red wax ^impressed^
and a war machine, sub-
marine silhouetted,
^etched^ by a thin gold
string Ariadne dropped

haphazardly in her ab-
duction. By other standards,
^embossed^ like Braille
variegates as roving sea-
waves, SOSing against
the solid steel side.

Until it cracks,
cleaner than an unsalted
pistachio shell. The cupped
portions plunking over
into individual coracles
that maneuver for one

once. And then they’re left
to a wind, greedy e-
nough for cicada husks
as for abandoned nests
as for cocoons u n r a v e l e d
and hollow hulls wrecked

“…my own body maneuvers to-
ward molting. And yet, the caspases
never quite activate the same,
O, olive Caterpillar.”
My chrysalis fails; yet, in fading,
have I avoided life’s swift predator?


I pluck guttural heartstrings              while
halation shimmers across the            reflection
shivering in the stream. Moss            carpets
rocks, scaled by droplets as blue as  the Morpho
and as delicate, too. The wind-         shield

traces the same ghost. I bend           down
away from interpenetrating               eyes
to placate the spasms in the butter-  fly’s
wings. I imagine the grille’s imp-      ression
and wonder if her ova found their     way

to the epidermis of the leaf,              before…
I play the part of an ultracrepi-         darian,
even though my ancestors lost         their wings
long before. What do I know of        metamorphosis?
My chrysalis was a womb that          affixed

a sheen of pallor over skin. One       that gradually
sloughed off after an arrival like      a sunburn.
A falling, really. Into arms meant     to imprint
that first feel of love—but, gloved    instead. A
world cocooned from the visceral’s   glistening.

I, prone to tergiversation, pluck        guttural
heartstrings, while the caterpillar,      buoyed by
an ambrosia we never seem to find,  seeks
kaizen. Even those controlled by      Apocrita.
Even those left cupped in the palm    of a hand.

About the Author:


Sarah E N Kohrs is an artist, whose poetry can also be found in Poetry from the Valley of Virginia, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, From the Depths, Virginia Literary Journal, Colere, and Claudius Speaks. SENK has a BA from The College of Wooster and a VA state teaching license. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley, where she homeschools three sons, manages The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, directs The Corhaven Graveyard, and works to kindle hope, where it’s needed most. http://senkohrs.com.