by Ashley Green    

Phantom I

She knew something I didn’t,
pale with untold prophecy
and horror.

You’ll stop loving me, she said
and her dilated gaze
swam in grief.

I laughed and touched her thigh, warm
and bare, familiar and new
all at once.

Come back to me, come back to
me, I whispered, it’s only
the drugs, love.

Laugh again, she spoke through tears
and touched my lips, eyes fixed on
the sound there.

I did, unintentional,
and she smiled, closed her eyes,
and kissed me.

Another cursed daughter of
Priam, with truth to tell yet

Phantom II

We sat in church and stifled laughs
while his mother watched through pin-
hole eyes. I could feel her praying
me away.

I took his hand within my own,
afraid God would be on her side.
I squeezed until his heart beat filled
my palm.

His mother turned, shaking her head,
hissed into his father’s ear, while
the boy untangled our fingers
to slip

His hand between my thighs and up
my dress, a communion scented
whisper drifting along my neck,
“Let’s sin.”


mother as monster,
a breach of contract
that shook Creator
and fissured the soul.

peculiar in growth,
the ones that survive,
are her stained children.
a marred and bent people.

She, Unholy Vessel,
bore us of her rot,
but we, circumstance,
can be born again.

I have cleansed my wounds
with both hands trembling.
I’ve broken my back
to stand here upright.


My blood is plain. One would expect this
pain would produce something of art.
Instead, an ordinary spatter of claret staining
cotton and being. I am stuck between two
worlds; a purgatory of present & possibility.
I will bury the future in cold water set on
delicate and mourn its absence in silence.
I will place a flower at the base of my belly
and say your name out loud to the moon.

About the Author:

Ashley Green is a poet living in Southern California. Her work has been featured in Poets Reading the News and Ink & Voices.