Kaci Skiles Laws

“I’ve known the bulbous root bodies that look like familiar babies
and ginger. They say love.”

A Way Back Home

My Writing

“We look at the world once in childhood. The rest is memory.” —Louise Gluck

Photo Credits: Kaci Skiles Laws

Recently Published and Forthcoming

Harbor Review

January 2021: Coats of Lamb

Fragmented Lines

January 2021: Everyone Melts

Cajun Mutt Press

January 2021: Father

“Only a sociopath could’ve come up with both invention and condemnation. Is it always what you say it is, Father?


Triggerfish Critical Review

July 2021: Lint

Capsule Stories

Winter 2020 Edition: Dear Winter

“I hesitate to leave messages at the beep, like a tree adjusting to the sudden drop and envelope of arctic air, at the sound of her voice.”

Written Tales

October 29, 2020: The Fall of Sybil

“I reflect what is left of her teeth grinding to dust. Her stiff arms hinge in and out like a praying mantis as she balls up another towel and scrubs. Her hair falls loose around her face.”

Terror House Magazine

October 2020: Collect

“I wanted to be a gypsy curse. A drowning on dry land.”

Morty Horse

“… lizards hurry over the cool curvature of his face to something that can hold warmth, the crevices in the concrete.”

No Basura

“We condone illegal dumping
because boundaries give us
anxiety. Google says we have codependence disease.”

Anti-Heroin Chic

October Issue, 2020: Human

“… you won’t know you, you’ll divide yourself into slivers of pie, eat every piece and pretend you didn’t eat the whole thing…”


Kiss My Poetry

Dark Chocolate

“I gawk at him sketching his hands while his ears pour wire.”

Dark Chocolate

Rough Cut Press

Issue 16: Green Is All I Ever Was

“Misunderstandings and me never
correcting. Lyme. Like disease, a tick that is me, a composition notebook with a tree asp spine. Lying, green and neon pus-like.”

Eighteen Seventy


“We aren’t proud, somewhat terrified after a headless body and hoppers leaps onto my sister’s shirt, tries to look her in the eye.”

Ten Million Flies

Dermoid Cyst

“The truth is I’ve been addicted a long time, the same as my attachment to trauma bonds, afraid of what comes and lies between who I am and who I want to be.”

Open Arts Forum

November 2020: This is How it Ends

“The characters on the cards speak with their demented eyes, marked four ninety-nine with enthusiasm and missing parts.”

October 2020: Pig Latin

“She saw me as hard tissue. A door left ajar. What I said. Honest. Insecure and reaching. A ringing nerve along her jawline.”

June 2020: Why are you so sad?

Why are you so sad? Everyone thinks.
Why are you so morbid? Everyone says.
Why are you, you? Everyone asks insincere.”

The Broken Spine

Brown Recluse

“She cries violins…”


“My blisters eat everything, me, not wanting to see anything except what I’ve known…”

Red Fez


“You shower in the morning; the spider you ate in your bed is partially digested.”


September 2020: Dead Things

“We bury dead things, so they can turn to dirt.” We place a brick over it and forget until tomorrow.”


Necro Magazine

Issue 1, Death: A Void

“Letting go isn’t leaving; it is a gradual dimming, giving up control, trying to grow.”


“Cut eyelids. Awake. A VCR. Press play.”

Open Casket

“… he was no match for the artist that stitches and glues up gore…”


Pif Magazine


“Her silk hairs overtake the lake’s crocodile skin and its fish bones—
they become fur coats on August beaches.”



“I am grateful their bodies are small because, by dusk, we’re tired of the day. I need an end that doesn’t taste like dirt on my face, under my nails and covering two bodies in large chunks that could never suffice. We start a second grave for Sniffles.”


“I am angry at the intrusions and movement inside of me, the dismantling—everything and everyone.


The Bag Dog

“How cautious we are with our accidental knives of concern falling open…”

The American Journal of Poetry

Bitter Kids

“…the licks of our perceptions, the rotating eye, the microscope we choke in our grips…”


Beneath Our Bell Jar

“Dad spreads his caviar of suffer, hires wrists to bend under samples of ptomaine tainted hors-d’oeuvres.”


Mama Rage

The best that Mama gives is liver…”


The Blue Nib

Kimberly’s Hands

“It’s late. I’m turning thirty one; there is supposed to be a pivot. The street— a canvas. The subway—where we leave suggestions of our youth.

Toothed One

“Would it be a choice—emerging from the wetlands, a pond, or someone’s garden palm, to step into window pane wings, to sprout stained glass, vintage markings?”


Otherwise Engaged Literary and Arts Journal

Vol 4, Winter 2019: Come Autumn

“It smells like autumn, not summer, not spring—never spring again, please.”


The Bollman Bridge Review

Issue 2, Winter 2019: Mexican Cuisine 101

“He smiles like Lou Diamond Phillips when he says it. He always does, something like gratitude or denial behind an open-ended joke with only a toothy-conclusion.”


Issue 4, Fall 2020: Mawmaw’s Beans

“I haven’t picked weeds in nineteen years.” I say, and then I remember something. “Why did you let me
bring you bushels of them as bouquets? I thought they were flowers.”

Nod Magazine

My Weekend House

“It became the scab of my unintentional picking, a nervous door into foreign feeling.”

The Woman in the Wallpaper

“I’d identify termites creeping with their winged eating, my digested home, my house a carapace of skin.”


Ponder Savant

Writer’s Block

“My cheeks are turning pink like rabid dogs in heat.”

The Art of Depression: Kaci Skiles Laws


“I’m held together with pins and needles, a broken jaw.”

Existential Ponders – Kaci Skiles Laws


“I stood by your hand, caressed silence, scared of red.”

Kaci Skiles Laws – Ponder Away

Goat Milk Magazine

Plastic Play Thing

“She tucked in her pain and tucked us inside her dress pocket too.”


Sleet Magazine

The Brown Closet

“Her finger retreats and fumbles for the fairy. “It’s far away across the ocean.”


Memoryhouse Magazine

A Snake

“She steps away too to watch. All that is left is a spinning noodle.”


Martin Lake Journal

Vol. 3, 2020: Giving

“I watch them hug the cloth of their stolen houses, the threads holding them like briar, the snags binding them.”


North Central Texas College’s Creative Writing Contest

This is How it Ends

“A discreet chill lingers to speak; a farewell from the arctic concludes: if millions of anything dies it isn’t equally tragic.


Creative Writing Ink Challenge

My Fictitious Faberge Bee

“I hold two reflective surfaces curtseying, each tendril—dust of us.
Do we keep pictures to remember or forget?”

CWI September 2019 Winner

Creative Writing Ink Writing Prompt Contest

Andromeda’s Hands

“The subway dashes. Her hair reaches; she continues to fill in the depressions
with porcelain.”



Coats of Lamb

“It pretends to know
where it goes, vacuums out memory in reverse,
winter from our marrow;
they both burden yellow,
the way a nimbostratus cloud
gives the city a cold.”


Poetry and Prose

Bewildering Stories

Issue 778: His Name is Happiness

“…he slinks down my eaves, passes through the panes, and leaves before the dew.”


Issue 759: The Cult of Cute

“And don’t forget blatant or covert abuse. Those you get to choose! Signed, The Clan of the Obtuse.”


Issue 765: The Paper Man

“I never would have thought to stop and think about an insignificant stray mark I made because I make so many. Now I stand in question before you, a creative idea that furled out from the end of a stroke of paint. You are a mere dot on a page in the grand scheme, among many I have made.”


Issue 795: Leland Gaunt

“Slithers as he speaks, grabs her, no head nod but a flick of his tongue. The dog cowers. Surrounding air settles. A moldy, thick paste stays.”


The Letters Page

Vol. 3: A Letter to a Jumping Spider

“I admire your versatility and spunky disposition.”


Unlikely Stories

Rio Vista

“The rain—its lapping could fill our farm’s well in reverse until it rose over and the dead debris, the black cicadas would not sleep…”

We Fall

“Our nuclear families smile like Stepford.”

Our Cicadas

“I tell you—they tunnel through night like dormant sleepwalkers to crawl up their mothers’ spines…”


50 Haikus

Vol. 1, Issue 15: Christmas Passing

“St. Nicholas? Death?”


Sub Rosa Zine


“The outside is loud. I want the exhaust out of my lungs. I fidget; she knows why.”

Family Ties

“Age never means wisdom is searched, not resisted for false security. My feet do less, and somehow it’s the answer.”

Former People

Open Casket

“We cried at the veneer halting his decay.”


“I glance at you, young and unmoving. Our memories are still lives that bleed tears and breathe longing.”

The Reason Why Rabbits Don’t Cook

“Am I deficient in my thoughts or resisting them like a house boarded up for a flood? Do they leak out and in until they settle for a second? They are itchy informant gnats I can’t ignore. They see things I nail beneath my feet…”

Grains of Her

“I was sick then. I didn’t know. I am sick with Crohn’s—the symptoms snarl.”

Don’t Tell the Antelope

“Maybe his hooves are patient, they craft a dagger out of a malformed horn, or wait for the majestic to expire before the maggots mature.”

Of Hell

“I’d be the most luminescent bubble in its wind like Glinda leaving Oz—loved for tenderness
before my destructive growls had time to show through the pink tulle, or the crown grew into maiming the enemy because lately all I feel is hate…”


Ghost in a Glass

“The almonds do not suffer, and neither do I. My guts are happy until my leftover breakfast wafts my way, reminding me of Pop-Tarts.”

They Eat Plastic

“I have considered taking a welding tool to the scrap metal men emerging. They are working to eradicate humans, I think. I can never get a sufficient reply.”


About Me

“I teach myself to dress as creeping figs on a sway of fence.”

Kaci Skiles Laws is a wife, mother, writer, and musician living in Dallas—Fort Worth. Her work has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, The American Journal of Poetry, Pif Magazine, The Blue Nib, and several others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by North Central Texas College’s English Department and is currently working on a children’s book called The Boogerman. Some of her visual artwork can be viewed on her and her husband’s YouTube channel listed under Kaci and Bryant.

Photo credit: Bryant Laws

This is How it Ends

Silence chauffeurs loss,
I call it—God—another conundrum unsolved.
A discreet chill lingers to speak, a farewell from the arctic concludes:

if millions of anything dies it isn’t equally tragic.
Primates are most vile; what could Jane Goodall see in chimpanzees?
Maybe as humans, we are of different genera, unclassified
chain-links. With the real miracles being exploited, pillaged, gulped whole—
I know we are a natural disaster in action.

I attempt to distract my son from us,
squabble with loose pieces to board games—the misfits Goodwill crochets.
It is a dishonest flail on my part. 80,000 children are starving
in Yemen; I find three versions of Candyland
at my local garbage store, not the edition from my childhood.

The characters on the cards speak with their demented eyes,
marked four ninety-nine with enthusiasm and missing parts.
Once they were drawn docile, nostalgic shades of imagination, an assurance
of safe nonsense. Today, they are decomposing in landfills or have become debris

inside of beached whales. My mother tags me in articles
depicting graphic images. But never does anything more.
We stare on and scroll up.


Send Me a Message

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