Ashes Might Go Down Easier

Written by: Hana Ryusaka

Once in a while -in a moment 

of immense sulfurous clarity, when 

every grace I locked in my dilated pupils

begins to form lesions, yellow-running

tears through the deepest, lusty scarlet –

black and white would be a relief.

My mind billows like sheets,

silken, swathing whore-hues

over my perception.

I have to turn my head, hold my eyelashes together

with two fingers 

hoping reality is more palatable

in the abstract. 

On the edges of my eyes, where the

tawny evil beckons, bending

streaks of light, blurred through my subconscious

I see myself continue.

Unfamiliar limbs flowing over the sidewalk,

never missing an ill-fated furrow,

the cracks that I know will break me

before they seep poison into my mother’s back.

I’ll set aflame this fool’s-gold heart in 

my crimson-stained fingers

and hope I don’t burn myself down

like the insanity with her claws on my eyes, 

holding every torch high and shrieking to the 

heavens for

fire, fire, fire;

No pretenses, just destruction –

hope ashes don’t lodge in my throat

like the drunken revelry,

the celebration: saliva and child-sobbing

unending in the streetlamps 

gag-reflex mercy from the pitiless

that preceded them.