“What is Poetry?,” “Tongue Fire” and “Faucet Father”

Poetry by Olivia Klein

“What is Poetry?,” “Tongue Fire” and “Faucet Father”

What is Poetry?

Mindset, free flowing, thought exploding

Sunsets,

Seasons, and syllables wrapped into one

Tiny perfect package

But also, great plains

Limitless at face value

And deeper when it’s said

Poetry takes no shape

No singular display

But embodies my own personhood

A mirror in some ways

When I’m high

When I’m low

It calls and brings me home

It’s baseline, comfort, melted

This thing I’ve always known

Tongue Fire

I want to say

a lot of words.

They rest sharp, waiting

to be clearly heard,

stuck in my throat

bruising with importance.

The words jolt alive

coated in hot leather

erupting like magma

down my limp taste buds

subducting slabs of my

teeth taste ashy and sweet.

Cover my mouth quick,

swing shut the gap

words waver with silence

biting my own tongue

before I can speak,

I am ruined with words.

I am standing on my sentences.

The words I want to say to you,

a garden at my feet.

My mouth disconnected from the

string of syllables surrounding me like dirt.

Consonants creating compost connections,

I open my mouth and nothing grows.

So I remain silent,

a garden of whispers.

Faucet Father

The faucet and the water

For so long you served as protector,

paternal, the outer shell shielding

the softness of your center

dripping out of you, one droplet

at a time, born of your creation.

You’ve fathered my fears

studied them, stuffed them

in stockpile prisms. But faucet

finds freedom and turns on

tap. Tap water and I’m free,

never known fluidity

till you turn off

wringing out the last drop

using your own hands to choke

me. Dried up. Never

seeing sunlight again,

stardust sucked back up.

Not figment but fact,

you made your choice.

Fiercest protector, first friend

finds unforgiving fluctuations

a violation of my natural state.

Liquid lingers but I,

disappear.

About the Author

Olivia Klein

Olivia Klein is a college student at University of Nebraska-Lincoln with poetry for a love of language, which she wants to share with the world.