by Rachael Ikins
For Puck from Katie
I ‘ve seen your picture, lying across
your woman’s poetry book, consider
yourself a god or at least a minor sun.
I backed up onto the screen so my girl
could no longer be tempted by you.
Yes, you are beautiful. I’ve known your kind.
My torn ear proves it. I loved a feline boy once.
named Irving. Curly hair, colored chocolate
and white. His ecstasy, I’d pin him down,
his throat-skin in my teeth. He smiled.
Winters, we hunkered on the register in the bathroom.
Furnace warmed our toes, our blood
rose. We sang praises, lust and hot planets.
You are not my lover. You are an alien
on my girl’s computer screen.
I growl to ponder your golden eyes.
No matter, when you meet,
you tolerate her touch, you notice
her fingers understand
the exact bones to scratch along your jaw,
behind ear’s flare, transform a cat
into a rocket engine of desire.
I huddle in my window behind the drape,
hoarding sulky sun this Syracuse day.
I wonder if she slept, traveled moon’s fullness
without me. She’d better not be sleeping
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Rachael Z Ikins has won 10 poetry prizes among them first place National League of American Penwomen Annual Poetry Contest 2006 and ‘08. Her chapbooks include “Slide-show in the Woods” (Foothills) August 08, “Transplanted” (Finishing Line Press.) 2010 and in 2012 “Renovation” (Foothills.) April 2012. Her first YA fantasy novel of “The Complete Tales from the Edge of the Woods” series (Icarus Aloft, Selkirk, NY) debuted April 2013 and was nominated for a CNY Book Award 2013.. She has received multiple fellowships to the Colgate Writers Conferences, Hamilton, NY for both poetry and young adult fiction. She has featured and read at Smith’s Tavern Poet Laureate Competitions, Vorheesville, NY, at Pine Hollow Arboretum, Delmar, NY with art exhibit, and at Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, NY. She is vice president and social media editor, credentialled in both arts and letters of the Penwomen CNY Chapter and a long distance member of Every Other Thursday Night Poetry Group, Vorheesville, NY, the Canastota Writers Group, and the Downtown Writers Center, Syracuse, NY. She founded and moderated the open mic “Monday Night Poetry at Sushi Blues” Hamilton 2008.
Her solo art exhibitions, some of which have included Westcott Art Gallery, The Tech Garden, 2 ribbons at the NYS Fair 2014, and readings all over the CNY region and 5 magazine and journal covers.
2015 her latest collection of English and Spanish poetry will release with FinishingLine Press
. December 2013 Rachael attended an Abroad Writers’ Conference in Ireland with other Finishing Line poets. In June 2014 she juried into Marge Piercy’s 2014 Poetry Intensive on Cape Cod. She lives in a treehouse with balcony with a sign that says “Caution, Dragon Crossing” because you never know, near the Seneca River. Hummingbirds, bees, and tree toads visit the jungle of houseplants and container vegetables she raises. She travels often with her dogs and her cat. When she is not otherwise occupied with writing projects or art, Rachael enjoys reading, PBS, music, walking, dancing, biking and cooking.
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photo by Kristi Harms