When I dream of water, I never dream of rain. That
insistent monsoon music has no place in
the soul of this siren – no,
only a sea blanketed by clouds,
or the fog of a morning seeping like secrets between
evergreens and swirling amid the twirling arms
of wind turbines – or the impatience of rivers, hustling
like businessmen or soldiers, confined within the
Earth’s fences, soil slowly yielding to the force of another nature,
another mother, whose sharp tongue froths and whips,
bearing new fruit from old loins – or,
cakes of ice, glassy and heavy and melting loudly,
bobbing like birds among the warmer waters of choppy seas.
Yes, it always returns to the seas.

Rain – that moody, weeping thing, gleaming like a veil
over a sky too full for words – or turning night streets to mirrors,
reflecting in its selfless way the lights of a species
hunched against its gifts, chilled through from wet—
I’ve never seen you quite right,
and I’ve never dreamt of rain falling into oceans,
only in the backyards of my memories, but
I suppose even the ocean must drink somehow,
and even rain must be welcome somewhere.

©K Paige Medina 28 November 2017



Wrap me in a shroud of cello music—

Let me pay my boatman with

Close and heathery melodies –

What sphere’s music exists that is so fine,

So wise and yet so impossibly human? –

Lay me to rest to the tree’s lullabies,

The music of plants, who remember

And do not speak.


Place me in the house of strings,

And let the chapel be hung with the low

And whole notes of a mournful instrument,

And speak only with bow-kissed strings,

Let the only tremor be in fingers

Pressed, calloused, along the smooth cords –


For if I am bound up to death like Persephone,

Let it be to the sound of wind

And moors, furred with lavender,

Feathered with this fairy music,

For then I will not perish in death,

But come again into myself –

Like a butterfly or a bear,

Awakening into daylight

Unblurred, undrowsy, unashamed of sleep.


©K Paige Medina 20 November 2017


for Uncle Jorden 

I never thought I feared death.
But I feel its presence in the way I can feel the soles of my feet
rise up into my stomach
when I look at the scaffolding outside my window;
the pain I can feel churning my insides into typhoon seas
when I see bloodied fingertips,
cuticles cracking,
skinned knees.

I always thought death would be
like a large room full of empty rooms,
the hollowness of wooden floors,
large and cavernous doorways beckoning slow movements,
a wandering, bare foot —
a place where billowing things were kept,
a place that, the closer it came to night, the more oppressive the emptiness became —
all the rooms suffocating in the staunchness of their silence,
unwhispered secrets stealing the whimsy out of curtains,
dipping white sheets into starch,

eternity kept like a madwoman in the attic.

I pictured it quiet that way,
but I forgot about the fire that kind of silence threatens.
Perhaps death cannot be so silent.

Perhaps it must be let out,

consuming air like water, like earth, like
the oblivion of city nights in the summertime.

Perhaps death is like August,
when empty rooms still trap heat in their ceilings,
when memories become cacophonous,
rattling their unwelcome spirits through the narrowing corridors,
never to be let out.

Will you tell me
when I see you again
if I was right?


Perhaps it is not right to ask,
when the silence of many years stretches still between us,
but I have only ever asked things from you
when it was too late to ask,
and you have only ever given me
the sunbleached memories of
and turtles,

the tenuous and safe way a child remembers
stories she heard from happy relatives who,
drunk and falling asleep beneath the warmth of Christmas lights,
could only laugh,
only clutch with their sleepy lungs
at air that would eventually calcify into
the fondness of imperfect memory.

I wish I knew you since.

I wish I could hear your voice now,
telling me perhaps not to be so sentimental.
Telling me perhaps that I was right —
that death is not so frightening as living.

Don’t say to me that

the reason I didn’t fear death was because
I didn’t expect it to come for someone else.


©K Paige Medina 04 August 2017