Kaitlyn Pate

Self-Help Book

A paper bucket filled with candy
wrappers lazes by her bedside
while she daubes around

her wicker room. Creased-sharp
swans slough off her skin
so she can feel the chronic

mending her bones. Every breath
crinkles like wax paper peeled
from shrinky-dink keychains,

while she buzz-drills holes through
her cast-iron wings. If she stitched
her skin to the wall, would it cover up

all the yellow?

About the Author

Kaitlyn Pate is an English and creative writing undergraduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She reads for Birmingham Poetry Review while she finishes her degree.