Listening is not hearing.
Like a wind that is slowly nearing
that never hits your face.
What I want is for my words to meet your embrace.
Not to be fixed or figured out.
I want to be seen with or without.
Responding is not understanding.
Though, you think it is because it makes you feel as if you are the one commanding.
You like to think that we are truly bonding,
but how can we when you do not hear me and only think of responding?

On Being Alone

Loving is a hard thing to do.
I’m afraid because I cannot
control all the parts of you.
So stay away from me please,
and don’t tell me you care.
Then you might actually know me
and that wouldn’t be fair.

I want to love, I do –
To open myself up to others’ emotional embrace,
but I’m uncomfortable too
and can’t bear to look at my own face.
I can’t love myself so I can’t love you.
Now please stay away from me and accept our time is due.

I don’t want to hurt you,
but it is for your own good.
For, to love me would be a prison
yet to be understood.
Stay away! Stay away!
Please, leave me alone.
I’m not ready to display.
I am the only artifact that I can own.

What a Time to Cry

So, here I am, back again.
Maybe I like the pain.

With your knife you scrape my chest.
Just let me see so that I can stick it inside of me.

It’s easier to hurt than to let myself cry.
It might not fit but can you hold it?

There are some things I’ve done that I can’t forgive,
but what’s the alternative except to live?

I could be just what you need.
I just can’t be you.

Please pay me a visit before you go.
Because you are leaving me and dreaming ain’t free.

The Bone Dock

Back and forth,
I have walked every day.
On this dock that holds me up,
I trust.
Back and forth,
start to finish.
But the deed goes uncompleted.
I never jump.
I am too afraid to fall ––
To drown.

Maybe, it is that I do not trust myself to float.
To rely on my body
solely and to be alone.
So I go back down and sit ––
in the pit of my stomach,
It feels more safe here,
less deep.

But each time I walk the weaker the dock becomes.
I cannot handle the weight ––
too much on the bones.
I walk so often that they start to creek.

Soon I will be able to walk no more.
The dock will be worn
and I will have to sit and watch its pieces as they
drift away.

Then I will conclude as well.
Gone into the ocean.
Unable to avoid
the waves.

Author’s Biography

Katherine Ault is a 22-year-old writer from Easton, Massachusetts. She holds a BFA in English Literature from Bridgewater State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. The following poems are a study on illness and what it means to live with it. At the age of 19, Katherine fell ill with a mysterious sickness that perpetually got worse over the next three years, changing the trajectory of what she thought her young adult life would be. This turn of events caused Katherine to turn inward and question life. During this time, her most treasured form of investigation was writing. Katherine is grateful to have gotten through this period of her life and hopes that these poems speak to those who are still in the fight.