Catriona Wright: Two Poems


You sign in to watch the K-Pop princess
eat three steaks, a bucket of kimchi, ten carp pastries
filled with custard and red bean paste.

You sign in to see her hair, silky
as bull semen, her skin, dewy
as snail slime.

She is size minus ten, but you sign in
to see her eat garlic chicken
with such gusto it lifts loneliness off
your shoulders, loosens your anus.

Your opener is broken, so you stab craters
into a can of tuna, give up,
opt for dill chips and chili dip.

You sign in to see her giggle between spoonfuls
of mayo, to see sauces
accumulate on her teensy chin, to imagine
wiping them off with a spit-damp napkin.

You sign in because your husband is enjoying
the Tuesday night special: beer
after beer after soju after beer.

Your last non-solo meal was you and your sister
sharing a tub of plain yogurt as skim-milk watery
as a half-hearted subway grope.

The escape key is sluggish, blurred
and sticky with horseradish mustard.

You sign in, you sign in,
you sign in, each screen shining
with her charms, that guileless shoveling:
bibimbap, fried okra, sweet potato tempura.

Her eyes, all whites,
rolled back and watching her own baby
pink brain light up with pleasure.

You sign in to enter the scene, turn off
all the webcams, scrape the plates clean.

To smell the pear detergent’s
dim fragrance and to feel
yellow gloves squelch against your fingertips.

To stack rinsed dishes in the rack
as neatly as the unlived lives are folded
in your heart, each one with a sweet splurge
at its core:

banana kick, the perfect kiss,
an appetite to clack chopsticks with.



When I’m an old crone I’ll wear asymmetrical, gem-toned muumuus
and thick cords adorned with ceramic speculum pendants.

Dependant-free, just me and my harpy-self, burlap sack
bursting with razor-lanced caramels and poisoned ring pops.

I’ll learn ballet through spells, pas de chat my way to the local cafe
where I’ll order a carafe of moonshine and a charcuterie plate.

While stuffing my face with fat-spackled pate and pickled cobra eggs,
I’ll riff with my scruffy waiter about mystics. Kabbalah, blah, blah…

On lazy Sundays I’ll shoplift dildos, take blimps for joyrides, juice kale
and the fabbest new steroids, splurging on extra for my Aqua Fit homies.

By moonlight I’ll paint cubist portraits of prolific succubi,
turpentine fumes doing the mess around with my brush strokes.

Yup, in those magic hag years I’ll be so freaky blissed
I’ll cease to exist.

Catriona Wright is a writer, editor, and teacher. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The New Quarterly, Joyland, Prairie Fire, PRISM International, Riddle Fence, Grain, and others. A selection of her poems won Matrix Magazine’s LitPop Award for 2014. She is an associate poetry editor for The Puritan, and you can find her at

Author: Jake Byrne

Poetry editor.