4 Poems by Aubri Kaufman @aubrirose

Punk Noir Magazine


first frost

its living in the curtains, pulling at the

matted gold rope, so gently that if you

blink you might miss it, entirely, and

no one would believe you,

anyway, not until it shook the

dust from its deeply grooved

skin like snow, packed curbside by

dirty tires. it could take your hand

at six am and pull you from someone else’s

sheets, billowing outside the flat, with teeth

chattering, too distracted to notice the black

ice until it’s too late, and its

inside your chest, now, tugging

everything it can find, and you can’t

remember the french word

for “help,” and even if you make it

back, intact, they’ll still only ask

what you were doing out of bed at that hour

without a coat.




you said i was a baby bird

saving a baby bird,

but, really,

i was already burying the shoebox.

i am the shovel.



my first sewing kit

at first, it’s a thread that,

when picked at, opens

to a hole the size of a quarter

the dark, wet mouth of which

swallows me, instantly, then

swells and fills with a thick, red

molasses that i wade through,

thigh-deep and when i finally

get a handful of the stuff, it squirms

and squeaks and clicks like

fire ants, piled on top

of one another, a smattering

of feet on heads and backs

gasping for air, burning holes

clean through me with their bites

and digs, flooding into my limbs and

burrowing into each muscle

until, finally, i manage

to tuck the thread back in.



contact comfort

if you could step wide enough to clear every

soaked sunday paper

clinging to the cheap linoleum floor

then you’d still have to climb, white-

knuckled to the railing, paint

chipping into your palm, the way

those baby monkeys

clung to wire draped in rags

thinking it was their mother.

you’d make it to the door, just to find it

looming, swollen shut with saltwater

threatening to wash you away.

safer to light a cigarette, tread barefoot

across the dirt lot, back turned to the house so

i can see your silver, soot-caked hair

your frame shrinking by the minute

or maybe i’m getting bigger

or maybe it’s all wire

draped in rags.


Aubri Kaufman is a multi-genre writer with an affinity for the unusual. She holds two undergraduate degrees (one in English literature and one in psychology) and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. She finds that her background in abnormal psychology and criminal neurology tend to weave themselves into her writing. A handful of her work has been published in various literary magazines, including Pink Plastic House and Rewrites. She can be found on twitter and instagram at @aubrirose.