Modesty for the Living By Katie Pukash

Modesty for the Living

I cover my skin most days.
Modesty suits my trauma
like the neighborhood watch
that year that nothing bad happened.

My hair is the loudest part about me.
Keeper of all that is behind a locked door.
I attempt to be a locked door.
Until I realize that being human means
Open Season.

It means that these clothes don’t do shit
to protect me because
we can’t install deadbolts into our chests.
We can’t be invincible in the ways we want to.

I wish nothing could render me raw-
but even my turtle neck has a lose thread.
I bet if you pull on it my entire sweater will come apart.
String by string.
Until all I have left is
a pile of polyester in my hands
ready to become my father.

By Katie Pukash


Katie Pukash is a writer and poet based in Boise, Idaho. Her work has appeared in Ink&Nebula, Breadcrumbs Mag, Yay! LA, among others. She was a member on the 2013, 2014, and 2018 Boise Poetry Slam Team and competed at the National level representing Idaho. She currently has two self published chapbooks.

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