I grew up with girls named January
and Monday, Winter and Snow. Delicate
rabbits at daybreak. Natural beginnings.
My name cut cute: Katie, a coupon
clipped from the full. Katherine means pure.
My heritage a dull blade: Irish-Catholic.
How I might have thrived as a month,
or a day. A full season! Call me Red Leaf,
Milkweed. Call me Thursday or Autumn.
Names that repeat naturally with fecundity,
sensually, not through thousand-year
patriarchies of Biblical crime and dust.
No, if you must call me, call me Earth,
call me Chipmunk, call me Woolen Scarf—
call me Wind Chime crafting turbulence.
September birthdays beckon a quirky
madness. A miracle of mushrooms bloom
under starlight, splitting a sea of crab grass.
I cannot be a blank canvas. I am a Fungus,
not a Janus looking both ways to cross.
Born toward the end, I rush into sweetness.
Call me Braeburn, Ambrosia, Honeycrisp.
Katie Kemple (she/her) is a poet, parent, and public radio consultant in San Diego, CA. Her work has appeared recently in Matter, Anti-Heroin Chic, Lunch Ticket (Amuse-Bouche), The Racket, and is forthcoming in Longleaf Review.