Katharine Boyajian


In murky emerald green water,

a broken bottle bobs on the milky surface.
A dead bird floats, feet upright.

A coin falls and punctures
the water’s face like a wound
bleeding jade.

It sinks with the other worn
nickel coins, painted olive.

Her father places another
coin in her palm. She brings it
to her lips and kisses it.

The coin falls past the lips of
the water and lands in its murky belly.

The girl reaches for another coin,
but her father is gone,
swallowed by spring sunlight.

She frowns, reaches her
hand into soupy water,



Bleeding Yellow

  1. Take a Picture Mommy

I am 5. I can hear my family singing

Happy birthday. The rain falling gently against

the curved glass windows.

Big Bird cupcakes

are lined up neatly on the kitchen table.

The yellow sprinkles

spill onto my lap, amber icing lines my lips.


  1. Melted Stars

As a child I watched the sky bleed,

tears. Pounding hard

against the window. Lying

on the kitchen floor, staring up

past the skylight and into the

black space, my hair sprawled around

me like a burst of stars, dripping

in copper light.


  1. 15th Birthday


My mother pushed my honey colored hair behind

my ears and told me to listen. She told me to stop

wishing on copper stars and to listen to her.

I started listening to the December rain leaking from

the murky sky.


  1. Slaughterhouse 5


Feeling like a bug caught in amber.

Trapped, my own wings turned to

stone. Wanting to get up and fly away,

fly with the rain beating against my wings,

the voices holding me back, melting into nothing.


  1. 17th birthday


My mother baked me a cake, pale yellow

icing smoothed onto white cake, decorated with

pastel flowers. The birthday candles flicker amber in

the flash of the camera.

Outside, December rain turns to snow.

All poems ©2016 by the author. Used with permission.

About Katharine Boyajian
Writer's Statement