Tuesday, November 18, 2008

explosions in the sky

we face the destruction. we face the end of all things. we face the falling stars and burning atmosphere with tears of joy, for its together that we face our eternal life. stone statues crumble, fortresses are toppled, the powers that be are no longer anything but meek crickets chirping the final song heard among the bombs, the gunfire, the four horsemen. this is it now.

i will always come back to you. in the end, everything is for you.

some say the old truism of a soulmate is the soul's recognition of its counterpoint in another. long grown out of these fairy tales and legends, i cannot place faith into these precocious dreams, whispered to children pre-war, the age of white-laced innocence as opposed to the violent hand lady fortuna deals with apathy.

but what is this magnetic field that still exists, pulling me back, back into the sea from where i came, back to where you'll always find me. the tides inside of me churn in opposition, between what is right and what is real, but you're clouding up my mind with all the miracle that you are.

hurdling towards the darkening of the earth, the descent into abiding winter, i see my peace. i see montana skies on cold mornings, i see summer breeze rushing through a car with open windows, i see golden wheat fields stretching for ages, i see endless sky. i see first snows, i see cerulean water at my feet, i see fireworks, i see what lies beyond those western mountains. i see cigarettes burning, i see the old porch swing. i see my child, i see my promises, i see red rivers flowing with no sign of ceasing.

but most of all, i see you. i see you, and i feel you, and i smell you, and i taste you, and i know you, and your hand stays in mine, as we enter this infinite sleep upon wings of the world's dying breath. my dying breath. i see lights.

your hand in mine.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


so this is what judas the betrayer feels.
this is the high the addicts chase until their last rattled breath escapes them.
this is the destruction we all privately seek out, like the drug dealers in the filth ridden, putrid alley ways, so far away from suburban white washed bliss.

every moment of these past two days i've wondered how i can go about recapturing the adrenaline. reliving the sin, just one more time. no, more than one more time. as many times as i can stand it.

my heart didn't break as thoroughly as i'd predicted it would when the lights went off and my skirt went up.
in fact i could barely feel the splinters in my chest as strong hands cupped my arched back, and hot shivers traveled up and down and around and in between my thighs.
i didn't even hear it break between the panicked whispers, rushing gasps, and occasional moan emitted from one or the other party.

"i think we need a break," i say through weepy mascara tears.
i drive away, leaving his dumbfounded expression in the drifting cotton snow. through my tears i manage to send a short, to the point text.

"i'm coming over."
barely a few moments later, a response.
"alright beautiful."

what we are depends solely on our choices. the choices of the unfaithful reveals them for what they are.
the weak.

hey, we've all gotta get our fix one way or another.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


i still dream about you, my little boy.
i can still feel you underneath my skin.
your heartbeat battling mine.
your whispers reaching me when the world sleeps.

watch over me, my little boy.
i'm not quite sure where to walk without you now.
take care of your daddy.
your mom still loves him.
until the stars turn cold.

i listen to the rain now, my little boy.
because i know that's how you tell me your stories.
stories about what adventures you would have had, the things you would have done.
stories about our family.
i go out in it
letting it in
gulping it down
drowning out talk, voice, sound--
swallowing the silence.

i miss you, my little boy.
when the house is quiet
i lay down on the cool carpet and take a glance into that world.
that world of make believe, broken promises, fairy tales long faded, and cold montana air i just can't seem to forget.
i see us.
all three of us.
we are nothing but light, blinding me with its radiance.
i see nothing but light.
drowning out talk, voice, sound.

for that minute i am free from these chains of truth, pulling me down under the dark waters of reality,
away from the light.
i'm drowning in air.
in light.

is this what nirvana looks like?
if it is...why do i not feel my peace?

then i shut that brilliant door in my head.
every time it opens, these precious ghosts taunt me with their bittersweet nonexistence.
break my heart with their fiction,
and i cannot take it any longer.

i cannot lose you again.
and again and again and again and again.
i know your eyes would have been blue. like your dad's. blue like the immortal sky.
ask me where my sky is, and i'll point you to him.

tell me what the angels sing to you, my little boy.
because i'm afraid i can't hear them anymore.

Friday, December 21, 2007

where will you be in ten years

sitting in this bleached, sterilized, cavernously white room, i can hear my nerves prickling, my heart beating, my mind racing.
i always get nervous when i come here. no matter how monotonous the routine.
how did i get here?

the slightly chill air nips at my spine through the gap in the hospital gown. my feet still dangle about a foot from the floor, my cracked, dry heels tapping the faux wood of the platform. the hygenic paper crinkles underneath me at the slightest movement. the only life is my blood pulsing through my ears, and the sharp pain in my abdomen.
how did i get here?

i'm startled from my reverie of gazing at a diagram of a human penis by the door handle noisily clicking open. the nurse comes in, white veneers flashing from the get-go. seems her self tanner left streaks, as her bare arms peak out from her "designer" scrubs. she says something about the doctor arriving in a few minutes. i'm not really listening.

i'm wondering if this polished, prim princess with shiny new teeth and a weave has ever, or will ever sit where i sit. she looks like she's gangbanged her way through a few frat parties in her day. i smile back with my eyes and nod, too bored to give any real effort.
how did i get here?

ow. pain again. it sends a short aftershock up my back, dizzying me. the nurse notices my slight lapse in coherence and asks if i'm alright.
i mutter that i'm fine. just a slight headache.

"i can get your some pain medication if you like," she concedes, popping the cap on her hooters pen. this is just too easy.
"no it's not that bad."
"alright, if you're sure."
"got morphine?"
she laughs. i do not.
"only thing i can get you is advil or tylenol. we don't want to interfere with the plan of treatment doctor cosgrove is setting up for you."
i shrug.
how did i get here?

she leaves.
i sit.
rubbing the scooby doo bandaid on my inner arm where they drew blood, i hop down from the platform. cold tile sends coldness up through my feet, into my legs. i take a few steps. groping for the wall next to me the room starts to unfocus again.
too much excitement.
i clamber back up onto the platform, putting my head inbetween my legs. this helps me focus again.

knock knock. i lift my head up.
doctor cosgrove and his white shot hair and glasses smile from behind his clipboard, shutting the door behind him.
i scowl.

"why do you always so vigilantly dislike my nurses ashley?" he asks, smiling over his spectacles.
because they're obscene.
pulling the swiveling stool underneath him while simultaneously flipping through papers on his clipboard, doctor cosgrove shakes his head, as if exasperated with a child.
"i just don't understand how that had more qualifications for nursing school than me," i say, my head inbetween my legs once more.
"you were qualified, you just have horrible credit and couldn't pay tuition," he says offhandedly, still persistent in his search through papers.

i breathe in. there's a raspy sound inside of me.
doctor cosgrove slows his paper shuffling. i know he can hear it too.
i notice i have bruises on my legs. i'm always bruising myself without the slightest idea of doing it.
child's legs.
playground legs.
how did i get here?

i notice it's quiet now. i look up from my legs, and see doctor cosgrove watching me.
it's getting harder to tell the difference when people are studying me, and when they're pitying me.
it's always the same forlorn look.
the same furrowed brow.
the same pursed lips.
the same questioning expression.
how did she get here?

"i have your CD4 count for today."

i look at my toes.

"you're still in the clear...an excellent count of 614. better than i expected."

i remember rhymes about my toes mom used to play with me.

"now considering that your CD4 count is in a higher range than we had previously estimated, we can break down your original ARV triple cocktail to a fixed dose combination of several steroids, DDC, and Ritchnavir."

this little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home.

"this will reduce your dailies to approximately..." papers flip, "15 tablets per 24 hour session."

this little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none.

"i'm still very concerned with your adherence counseling. i will set up your sessions with donna to three times per week instead of the original once a week. we still need to be extremely cautious concerning opportunistic infections. you have some abnormal filling in your lungs, which i think we're going to go ahead and have to drain them, just to be on the safe side. of course the risk is only high if your CD4 count is below 200 for it to develop into pmeumocystis pneumonia."

this little piggy cried wee wee wee, all the way home.

i look up.
"that'll wrap it up for today."
i sit up. paper underneath me, crinkle crinkle.
"give this to jules at the desk. she'll set up an appointment for you to come have your lungs drained on tuesday."
he hands me a paper. i can't read doctor's writing.
he stands up, yawning and looking at his watch.
"damn doctor hours."

i hop down and start to untie the back of my gown.
he starts to turn for the door then stops, suddenly remembering his doctor's duty.
"watermelon or strawberry?" he says.
"you should know by now it's always watermelon," i smile.
"of course." he smiles over his glasses.

throwing my lollipop wrapper into the trash can (missing), i suddenly remember something too.
"i got you an early christmas present," i say, squatting down to my purse on the floor rifling through it.
"did you?" doctor cosgrove says opening the door.
"here. the gap whores them out for ridiculous prices. but i thought it would fit you."
doctor cosgrove lets out a snorty laugh.
"an HIV awareness pin. how very fitting."
"i think everyone you treat is already pretty damn aware of it anyway."

he gives me the same look again.
study or pity. it's all the same.
"drive safe, ashley."
he sets a folder down on the counter before stepping out.
prescriptions for the next four weeks.
the fourth week happens to be my nineteenth birthday.

throwing on my clothes i slip on my shoes, leaving them untied.
i notice a hooter's pen lying idly on the counter.
slipping it into my pocket, i silently apologize for wishing anything even similar to what i was on that girl.
nobody deserves that, not even someone who took my place in life, while i was dealt alternative cards.
nobody deserves to die when they are alive.

how did i get here?

Sunday, July 15, 2007


the phone buzzes sporadically on the table top, rotating in its own chaotic circle with each vibration.

"ugh, who is it this time? another project?" b asks, taking another sip of her cocktail.

a smiles, glancing down at the spinning phone.

"oh just the one from new york. 212 area code."

"a, you really need to stop torturing these poor animals."

"it's not torture! it's just harmless fun. they have no idea that they mean nothing," a shrugs, opening the phone to reject the call, sending it to her condescending voice mail.

"that has to be the fifth one in two weeks, dude."

b and a sit on the outside veranda, cooled by the overhead misters, the sun's blaring heat subsiding with the wane of the day. bustling conversations from the people inside the restaurant echo outdoors, with passersby shifting their shopping bags and day's purchases contemplating which bistro or steak house or bar to select for that night. the outdoor mall was fairly new.

a slips her tired feet in and out of her worn heels, tracing her finger along the rim of her glass. an alert to a new voicemail buzzes to her attention.

"i know. that's the trouble with consorting with morons...you need at least five to fill the space that a normal run of the mill man would fill."

b smirks and eyes one of two businessmen sitting at the bar a few feet away inside.

"don't be so cruel then, cast at least a couple lose. it can't be too fair letting them think they even have a chance."

"and why should i be merciful? i didn't see any mercy at my sentencing," a flips her hair back and stares at the stem of her wine glass. b stifles a groan, instead releasing a sigh.

"when are you going to let that go a? you need to get past all the shit j put you through. just move on."

"isn't that what i'm doing? fucking all of these gorgeous idiots? wouldn't you say that's moving on?" a starts. "j is dead to me. as dead no doubt as his new girlfriend is in bed under him."

b knows to back down, as usual. she purses her lips and looks back at the businessmen at the bar, both of them now checking out the two girls. a sighs.

"i don't care about him anymore b. it's done."

b downs the remainder of her drink then gets her purse and keys together.

"just keep telling yourself that a, everytime a stallion asks for your number and you hesitate because his face pops up in your peripherals." she tucks a's arm under hers and heads toward the bar.

approaching the two men, b quickly hashes out dibs on the taller blonde, while a accepts the lesser, younger looking brunette of the two. after all, it was a's turn to aquiesce tonight.

"there's no better medicine than the sweet morphine of a one night stand," b mutters in a's ear, before putting her game face on and introducing herself as christine.

far away in a's mind, past her flirtatious smile and lingering handshake with ian, a law intern, age 25, far away there she sits. biding her time before the emptiness is complete, and all she ever has to feel again is ian's hungry thrusts against her frame.

she stands before the impass a broken woman. the few who know what lies beyond the vacancies of her eyes are shadowed memories, disappeared from her world with sullen looks and cold stances. all that remains is the same empty stare, the hands who no longer grasp for feeling, the tears that no longer fall. all that remains of her is dust, responsive only to the mirthless winds that disperse her in this life.

Friday, July 06, 2007

once a whore, you're nothing more

putting her clothes back on as he sits watching from the chair in the corner, it hits her like the drugs injected into her system minutes before that this is what a whore feels.

shamefully she searches through the knotted white sheets for her bra, lost in the battle with her conscience. she skims through the rubble of her defeated pride, trying to find her top in the process.

he watches her, not bothering himself to get dressed. he sees the soft back arched in passion only moments before bending down, stooped slightly with motion to hide from the dim light. after a few minutes watching her frustration grow, he points to the black lace cast on the floor. she nods in thanks.

she can't figure out why she is still shaking. is it the cold?

the moonlight smiles upon her glowing skin, grazing her collarbone, skimming her small breasts and stomach. she realizes her exposure and clasps her recovered dress to her chest. more than the physical is exposed in this tragic post-coital dance home.

"i'm going to use your bathroom," she mumbles, her voice hoarse from previous screams egged on at his insistence.

"take your time beautiful."

it's a nice hotel room. the air conditioner ticks on and off every few minutes. the beds are clean. no bible in the drawer. she looked.

the bathroom lights are pretty and round, the kind you see in movie star dressing rooms; or at least that's how she imagined them. clicking the door shut behind her, she silently sinks to the cool floor, her still clutched dress absorbing her insides released through her muted tears. running mascara completes the illusion of trashy deliverance. why is it that the only thing she can think of is two summers ago?

the random picture show in her mind of days spent at canyon bonfires and running through sprinklers has no place in a hotel bathroom. she slows her breathing and grabs for the toilet paper. wipes her memory away. the smell of fireworks clouds her head. the feel of soft skin prods at her heart.

after composing herself, she emerges fully clothed, and sees him, still in his chair, with a lit cigarette glowing and dying in the dark. on the bed sits a very familiar diamond bracelet she had eyed only 4 hours earlier.

"that's for you."

she stares down at the glittering stars fallen to earth masquerading as diamonds.

"i don't accept gifts."

"you wanted it before."

"that was before sleeping with you."

he looks thoughtfully at this young, flushed girl, who was certainly a woman only a few minutes ago. where did the ravishing woman go, the woman who at dinner played with his ego, daring to be brazen in her intentions for him that night. the woman in a strappy purple summer dress, sipping champagne he had ordered for her, discussing philosophy and existentialism in her best impression of pretension.

"i'm not a whore."

"it's not payment. i just want you to have it. no strings attached."

the girl grabs her cheap imitation knock-off of a gucci bag. she picks up her pink razr cell phone with the hello kitty charm attached. slipping on her mismatched juvenile green flip flops, she puts the butterfly clip that had fallen out back in her tousled hair.

"i don't want it. i'm not interested in a no strings attached attachment." she turns and heads for the door.

"then all you are is a sad little girl who still believes in love and fairy tales."

she stops. twirls her hello kitty charm in her fingers.

"you're wrong," she says in monotone, a hint of uncertainty in her tone.

"how am i wrong? that you're a woman? honey, you're nothing close," he chides, standing up, zipping his jeans. "for an underage fuck you're not too bad though."

"you're still wrong," she says, trembling and reaching for the handle.

"then what is it?" he says, taking a long drag and bending down for another line from the tray. "maybe i am wrong, maybe you weren't that great. you teenagers never know what you're doing."

exiting the room, the swell in her throat drowning out her thoughts once more, she stares straight ahead down the long corridor of identical doors to identical rooms.

"i don't believe in anything anymore."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


i don't talk about you anymore.

at least, i make the effort not to. but of course there are those who simply can't let this die, won't let it die, like you so blatantly have. keeping it alive is not a concern of mine anymore. why struggle for life when all is left is a shell? i was extinguished. i was reawakened. reawakened only to decay once more.

and now i am hollow.

although i may speak no evil, it doesn't work the same way for seeing or hearing.

it's not as bad anymore. more like the dulled pain of a drug induced dream. shots of the unfeeling course through my veins, yet the pain still lingers below the surface, simply masked by distraction and coincidence. your presence is still very much here, as indirectly as it may possibly seem.

you run through the lives of friends and loved ones, always skipping through mine like a mirage, a memory. skipping over it in your graces like a bruised peach in the supermarket, favoring other more savory fruits of love. fruits that don't give the air of inevitable rot emanating from their toxic cores.

lately i've found myself returning to my shallow waters of safer seductions, flirting with the boys in the car next to ours, aquiescing to dates with inbred testosterone producers, desperately fumbling in the dark for that feeling of warmth, of closeness i crave, achieved only by cheapened bursts of heavy breathing, groping hands and forced false moans.

despite my happy face, my laugh, my bitter "fuck men, girl power" attitude...it still doesn't change the fact that i get cold at night. that those songs don't mean anything anymore to anyone, except me. that i still shiver when i think of the first time you touched me.

we can't change our ghosts.