Author Archives: Kayla Wheeler

About Kayla Wheeler

Kayla Wheeler is a nurse and writer from New Hampshire. She is a NorthBEAST Underground Team Slam Champion and represented Slam Free Or Die at the 2013 National Poetry Slam. Her work has appeared in FreezeRay, The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, The Orange Room Review, Wicked Alice, and is forthcoming in We Will Be Shelter, a poetry anthology from Write Bloody Publishing.

Three Poems – Kayla Wheeler

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The Catcall: Spoiled Endings of a Choose Your Own Adventure Book

If it is night and your blood is
Jack Daniels thin. If you request
that song and dance the way it instructs you to,
The Catcall becomes an hourglass in the back seat
of a Boston taxi filled with your whiskey sour and
appletini receipts.

If you are alone outside the bar, walking home
from work sweaty and stained, The Catcall is
a street light that never turns red.

If it is Saturday afternoon and you are pushing
a stroller carrying twin pulses, bread & milk, a family
pack of red meat, The Catcall wants to know
where your man is.

If you call The Catcall by its name, burn
the mouth that housed it, The Catcall ripens
into a physical thing that can be killed
or worse, wounded.

If you draw a box cutter from a hip pocket
of your favorite skinny jeans, well, now look
what you’ve done. Your blood and
The Catcall’s is flooding the street.
You can’t tell the difference between the two
and that is the worst part.

If you say nothing, bow your head
the way a woman does, The Catcall grows
into distance swollen with possibility.
Look, there, over your shoulder.
If you wear that dress and say no
If you wear that dress and say yes
If you wear that dress and change your mind,
The Catcall writes itself into an eviction notice
stapled to the door between your legs.

Of course. You want to know
where you’re supposed to go when told
to leave your body. Girl, sweet delicate thing,
that is not for you or I to decide. Our role
has only ever been to

survive.
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