Listen to “A Stone for the Soup” by Katerina Canyon


I dream of a suicide pilot

when I spill into the landslide of

a briny tide, mismatched and roaring

against the bridge lowered and toll

booth opened by the goblin commander.

I want to stand beneath ceilings of glass

houses and watch the raindrops

turn into pebbles — I want to feel

the glass shards pierce my skin.

Last night, I stood in line at Walgreens

for a vaccine against humanity.

It did not work. I still care

about happens to the children

in this volatile mine field we call society.

I saw a pink man in a red cap

walking mask-less in a crowd of flamingoes.

He said life has no consequences.

But in a month, he will be dead,

and his wife will blame anthrax.

I know what it means

to live in denial. I did not believe

my mother was going to die until

she did. She is ash now, and I still

believe that something will bring her

back to me. Faith is a powerful drug.

Even logic cannot kill it.

The pillow on my head is hollow.

Within it I can hear the echoes of

my nightmares fighting my hopes.

I wanted you to come back, or at least call,

but the longer I wait, the less I can taste desire.

The juice of the pomegranate is a bit acidic, 

like vinegar.

Our old restaurant closed during the pandemic.

There is nowhere for memories to return.

Katerina Canyon holds a Master of Arts in Law in Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and she holds a B.A. in English, International Studies, and Creative Writing from Saint Louis University. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  She is a 2021, 2020, and 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee. She served as the Sunland-Tujunga California Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2004. During that time, she started and ran the Shouting Coyote Poetry Festival, and she traveled the country promoting poetry and poetry events.

Katerina Canyon’s work has been published in publications such as Meniscus, New York Times, and Huffington Post United States and Germany. She has been a featured poet in multiple venues across the country, including Beyond Baroque, Nuyorican, The Bowery Poetry Club, and Chance Operations. She teaches poetry workshops to children and at universities. She has published three poetry chapbooks and two albums.

Her latest work, Surviving Homeis available through Kelsay Books. Prior to Surviving Home, she self-published, Changing the Linesa joint project with her daughter Aja Canyon featuring poetry and art that can be found online at Amazon. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington, where she can often be found writing poetry near Meadowbrook Pond. 

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