When I remember you,
 I want you to remember me,
 not as I am now, but how it used to be,
 through the narrow opening of time,
 back to those days
 running fast from the open faucet:
 afternoons in the kitchen,
 the way you’d wet your finger,
 run it around the edge of the crystal bowl
 just to hear it sing,
 or find the beveled jelly jar, 
 fill it with the right amount of water,
 touch the side with a spoon to make music.
 You smiled, saying I was your only fan.
 Table and counters were not off limits.
 There was even that hour on the floor,
 linoleum pressing against my tailbone.
 How you looked at me, concerned I was cold. 
 After, we clinked champagne glasses. 
 You held yours by the stem, as if it were a flower,
 blew on the mouth of the empty bottle,
 bringing it to life with your very breath.
 Somehow, you forgot to inhale.
 I had to remind you to take back what you’d given,
 lest you forget yourself, suffocate 
 as I’ve done in memory, 
 as I’ve done in fantasy, 
 standing at the sink,
 rinsing out tumblers, 
 believing you might come back.
 Yes, that must be love.

Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, is a founding member of Write by the Rails, the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. She currently serves as President and has twice been nominated for Poet Laureate of Prince William County. She was the winner of InsideNova's 2019 Best of Prince William award in the author category. Katherine considers herself a writer by nature and by trade, having begun writing for fun as soon as her mother helped teach her to read. She has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years. While Katherine's first love is poetry, she also holds an interest in writing articles, columns and short fiction. Besides being published in dozens of print and online journals, she has authored seven books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac, Late April and A Crane Named Steve. On Facebook, dabbles in short pieces that she calls her "social experiment," #KatherinesCoffeehouse. In her "other" life, Katherine is a marketing writer for an IT company and CEO of ATW- All Things Writing. She works with local publications and is Editor in Chief of Prince William Living magazine. Previously, she wrote for Bristow Beat, News & Messenger, Potomac Local, PW Business and the Quantico Sentry. Katherine aims to use her professional background to elevate the practice of writing and give writers a space where they will be recognized as laborers honoring a timeless craft. "Writing is hard work," she says. "I want that work to be valued." Katherine's full profile can be found on LinkedIn.
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