hospitable / nebula / night shift

hospitable

Each night
at work,
he says,
it feels
as the end;

but surely
at the end
of the world
I will come
bearing hyacinths,
one shade
for every mood
of the earth
in rapture;

at the end
of the world
I will wink
at my fig-skin face
in the mirror,
forgetting
the ripening seeds
beneath;

and surely,
I will find
myself
beneath the olive tree,
spitting
free those full
and tooth-tender
pits,
still warm
from the sun.

nebula

I meet a girl
who is an alien for Halloween,
which is the secret
queer costume of the decade;
she wears it in green
sparkles
and two antennae launching from her hair.
I am trying
to tell if she is straight,
and also,
to be sexy,
so I ask,
what is your favorite emoji?
is it a rocket?
comet?
heart emoji with an echo effect
blasting out through the speakers?
She laughs,
and by the end of the night
mine
is a girl on her stomach with legs crossed in the air,
the Oort cloud of smoke she blows in a glowing neon car,
the glitter/confetti/snowstorm of radio static
sent deep out into space
from her dashboard.

night shift

I am becoming
familiar
with the ebb
of the hospital,
the tidal volume
breaths
like some slowly reaching
shore,
the clots
from brains
drain
into filters,
and their edges
are the tendrils
of garnet
jellyfish,
or maybe
kelp.
The world
is silent,
dark,
deep underwater
as those anglerfish
I recreate
as I flash
a light
into the eyes
of a woman
slipping away.

And after,
I crawl
to the cemetery,
lie in the sun
beamed grass
over my uncle’s grave,
and tell myself
a new day
rises
as a leatherback
to the surface.

Author Headshot

Kolbe Riney is a queer poet and student based in Tucson, Arizona. Her poems are published or forthcoming in several print and online publications, including Penumbra, Sheila-Na-Gig, West Trade Review, and others. More work can be found at: kolberiney.wixsite.com/website