Poem at 21

Katey Funderburgh

              9 years younger than Sophia Sanchez, she says

It is midnight. We absorb each other’s 

language in the wine-drunk of the

back concrete under a sky too full of

ash to see stars. in the morning I am

awake before everyone else-the sky

is blotted pink but wildfire suns are

not allowed to be beautiful. This is the

rule I remember when I drive alone

and hungover. I think I see mountains

but this is a mistake– the sky is too

gray with the home I miss burning into

a synonym for fog. My grandmother

smokes cigarettes.

I smoked half of one last night

Tonight, I’ll eat pasta with my

mom and then drive back to the

house where my bed is, where I’ll

undress from this guilt in time to

work on homework on the porch

with you.

It is midnight, and I read

until I slip into sleep.

When I hear music bouncing from the

kitchen, coffee smells bubbling around the

corner, I’ll remember that my world hurts and

is warm all the same, a life on fire-there is

water in my words. I’ve heard the truth is that

it won’t feel like this forever. But if that’s true

then lie to me.


Katey Funderburgh is a current undergraduate student at Regis University. Raised in the mountains of Colorado, she finds her poetic roots in nature, lineage, and feminist voice. Her work seeks to connect us back to the earth, as she explores what it means to belong, to feel love, and to understand both the beauty and the pain that come innate to human life. This is Katey’s first publication.