Cathy Porter

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

Jump in the Fire (Ode to the Ex)

You cut me off, before I can answer –
like a crazy driver in rush-hour traffic
who jams the lane and causes a major

The stories you tell have gone stale –
but I still partake. The last one will
never be the last one. My best friend
thinks you’re the best bull-shitter in
the world. No wonder I keep coming back. 
Even your excuses smell good.

So, tonight, let’s call a truce. Do what
we do best: drink, fight, fuck. Fight
some more until the sun creeps through
the window – let it all go up in flames.
We’ll sweep the ashes to the side.



You never cough up truth
And I never put my correct weight
On my driver’s license

But my lie is trivial
Yours seem to gorge themselves
Trip over every letter

And don’t get me started
On that night by the river
Your tongue, twisting my words,
Drowning every hopeful syllable

Do knives come out at night
For you? I hear church bells,
But nothing about you is holy


First day of chemo for my best friend
She doesn’t elaborate much
On this

I push too much sometimes
Try to get her to talk
But she refuses to crack

I want her to scream and yell, emote
I want her to be me

She doesn’t deserve any of this
Yeah, I know everyone says that
In this case, it’s true

But I’m kind of pissed at her
Acting as if
None of this shit hurts

Because it does –
My god, it fucking does


Cathy Porter’s poetry has appeared in Plainsongs, Homestead Review, California Quarterly, Hubbub, Cottonwood, Comstock Review, and various other journals. The Dash Between Us is her latest chapbook from Finishing Line Press: A Life In The Day and Dust And Angels appeared in 2012 and 2014. She has two chapbooks published by Dancing Girl Press in Chicago: Exit Songs (2016), and 16 Days (2019), as well as The Skin Of Uncertainty (2020) from Maverick Duck Press. Her chapbook Bodies Of One Breath is forthcoming in 2023 from Dancing Girl Press. Cathy has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. She lives in Omaha, NE.