White lost its virginity
when I saw through
cherry eyes.
The hoar turned to flame,
my portrait, a whore.
Who are you who
gathers the hollyhock
in your secret harem,
seducing them,
petal from petal?
Am I coated in semen
or menstrual blood?
Never mind, my womb
is full, either way.
A new palette emerges
when each hue
is smeared, flushed,
imbued with omens.
I fear the spikes,
blushed knives drawn
from the sun reflecting
on a cracked mirror.
I fear the milk-turned-poison
frothing crimson
at its tenuous surface.
My mother grabs my wrists,
her eyes aflame:
you’re safe, it’s safe, she lies,
nails, cardinal crested.
Then I did not realize
all the time I
was looking through
red glass.

Photo by Jasper Oversteyns on Unsplash

Kaitlin Kan

Kaitlin Kan is a product of a multicultural upbringing, New England boarding school, and Yale University, where she is currently studying English and psychology. She has been published in Ponder Review, New Plains Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, Sincerely Magazine, Hektoen International, and Sky Island Journal. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her dogs and playing piano.