Webcam Girls #1

The girls in the webcam
in small videos
so pretty and yet
and yet
this is who I reach out to
when the going is tough
and it is tough all over
these days Heidi and Clem
and Gina, I wanted
Pineapple but she is busy
and Heidi says oh baby
you are OK do not cry
and they stop their touching
and kissing to pity me
here in this infinite burst
of loneliness, oh baby
they say, I’m sorry. 


When you were at the memorial service
of your friend, all I could think
of was you fucking me in the ass
with a strap-on in the whale
pool of Seaworld. Our last
glorious moment together. 
This, is the end. This, 
is where the muscle contracts
the longest. 
A whale’s eye, on the side, 
sees limited. How I want to be
crushed by these moments. 
Carve into this whalebone
see you never, 
sell it as v. rare, 
v. authentic, priceless. 

Webcam Girls #2

Barbwire and a ring of flame
around a heart Clem
draws a tattoo idea
she has been thinking about
forever she says
and wouldn’t this
look good in the middle
of my chest and
she holds the drawing
up to the screen
and I am on the other
end swallowing
my sadness whole
without chewing
and she says our time
is almost up do you
want another hour
isn’t this going to
be a nice tattoo?

In the Event of Missing

I wake up and have anal sex with myself
on top of a towel on your side
of the bed in a skirt
you left behind and feel
all day long as if something
is entirely missing. 
It’s the ache, more than anything.
If I wait long enough. 
If I wait long enough, I will
still be reminded of how
to be in expansion
is an exercise in caution. 
Here is a test of the emergency
fire escape system, this is only
a test of your memory: how
you asked if we could have
anal sex together and I said
no, a complete sentence.
In my mind, you are infinitely
on a train, reading Barthes,
with a red ball in mouth, 
a collar and leash, 
insert how much crush
before I am completely housebroken. 

Webcam Girls #3

You changed your hair
Pineapple says to me
and now it is black
witch long and string
you got new glasses
she says, is that a new
shirt, she says, and
she opens her legs
and says
baby don’t cry
here she says
and she takes
her shirt off
do you want me
to bring Heidi
in, we would
have to charge
your card extra.


Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, forthcoming), The Arson People (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2015), and Our Prayers After the Fire (Blue Square Press, 2014). Other work can be found in or is forthcoming from New South, Fanzine, Washington Square Review, Ninth Letter, Flaunt Magazine, and elsewhere.