As cosmic chance would have it,
the disorder caused me to wither
eclipsed by the rapture of your love.
How could I not relate you to the falling?
To growing older than this body?
You became entwined with its shade.
When the blood moon
shys away from the tangerine sun,
I must wonder which body has moved on
and where the other one may go.
Allow the boys to do it.
Leave the lifting to the ones not
shrinking with each desperate pull.
Darling, they train for this day,
Daddy says. When the stepping stool
of your weakness allows them into bed.
The ivory cold skin turned red from lace gowns
sewn to be wed and slept in. Frail,
He did not mean to seek this metallic frame
of a body used and withered.
Incomplete and archived.
You want the rose vase. Beautiful
ceramic your mother hid from your father
when she could.
You never asked for empty syringes.
The needles my mother hid after each use.
I was never sure why.
Boy, will you open the jar for me,
The half-greased glass in the fridge?
I promise to lick it clean before you leave.
at least that,
I can do.
Ashtyn Layne is a poet, artist, and punk rock enthusiast. At 18, they published their first chapbook with Ibbetson Street Press under a previous alias. Their poems often explore the concept of identity and disillusion, commenting on the many coping mechanisms one turns to in order to find themselves amongst a world of chaos.