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a collection of writings by Casey Ashman


i should’ve taken ecstasy with you
should’ve kept my hands in my own pants
should’ve never let my tongue come away
from my teeth
should’ve told you i had a girlfriend
to this day i put my head on a pillow
& hear you blushing
i’m sorry i didn’t ever tell you
that some women aren’t meant
to be anybody’s anything.
that i never showed you the hoarse throat
& anger-stained heart
i inherited like blue eyes from my parents
never told you that my eyes get drunk &
look like bedrooms in basements &
cause car wrecks.
i’m sorry i never told you
i didn’t love you

June 2nd
1:48 pm

i am kissing onto your back
like you are wet cement
or an ocean
the dead animals inside me
don’t stink so bad when
you’re around here
my head feels like an emergency
& i don’t notice the rot in me
because of your hand around
my neck i love you.
we are here & thank you
& i am putting stars
into your mouth
& when your lips are on
my lips the whole world
gets quiet and also dies.
i learned that veins dilate
just like pupils do & mine
are like pipe-cleaners now when you
breathe on my cheek i love you
my sleep has been a type
of neglect so closing my eyes
helps me stop from spinning.
when i think about the bruising &
the barely-breathing & the begging
it is harder than usual for me
to keep from touching my heart
with my dirty fingers

April 7th
11:59 pm

strip me of my clothes
my anxieties
my pride
my sadness
tell me you love me.
when you have my heart clenched
between your
once-in-a-while smile,
tell me you still do.
tell me it never gets easier.

March 28th
5:09 pm

i’ve been meaning to ask you all sorts of things.
things about lava lamps,
navigational skills, patience, ice cream.
mythology. museums. musicals.
i lay awake at night
wanting for you to be around to answer.
to hear me say, half-dreaming,
“i love you. i love you. i love you.
i think about you before i sleep.”

a poem

a poem

i sat at the foot of my bed for ~20 minutes
i put my hands in my mouth
i touched my gums and my teeth and 
i touched my tongue
sometimes i do that because i like the sound
and other times i do it because i need to know
what teeth are
i’m sorry for all the times on my porch
i’m sorry i brought up other boys
I’m sorry i talked about outerspace all the time
i hope you lay in your bed tonight and
cough up your heart onto those grey jersey sheets
i hope you choke on the memory of my exposed lungs
when you pulled me open at the sternum and 
brushed the tangles out of my ribs
i wish i could build a lake big enough for me to sleep in
alone

A Failed Attempt at Projecting My Adoration Into The Written Word

~thank you i am here
i imagine us sitting in the laundry room without shirts on
you laugh at me when i say “i don’t care about poems that aren’t about love”
(even though i’m laughing as well, and not really serious about that statement)
i imagine reaching out to touch your hair and say “boys are idiots”
and in earnest, you’re an idiot.
but so am i. I’m not a boy, i mean,
but i am quite the dunce.
ha
ha ha ha
once you told me it was okay to be fragile and breakable, because I’m “mortal”
but then i just giggled nervously and said “but i’m not real at all”
and this whole poem is really only about the rainsong of your hips
and the words you say without making a sound, really.
i am sorry that i like you better than my own butt.
i am sorry that you aren’t eating sandwiches with me in my bed right now.
i am sorry the lines of this poem aren’t long enough to connect our fingertips.
i think, really most of all, i apologize for knowing that no line, no stanza or limerick
could get me as close to you as i need to be.
you’ve drawn sonnets on me without ever being within 17 feet of my body.

January 7th
12:07 am

3:26 a.m

rain always reminds me of you
“hello?”
“sorry i missed your call”
“yeah”
“go to sleep. you’re drunk.”
“dont call me anymore”
“okay”
“…”
“i love you too” sighs
(it’s 326 am. I dont love you too.)

j’étais seule

i don’t want to be sad for you.
i am happy you chose her.
i hope you love her so much,
i hope you love to kiss her.
i hope you cry on your wedding day
because you have never seen
anything so beautiful
as a girl
who isn’t
me.

for a second,
i forgot what twitter looked like.
i forgot what you looked like.
i touched my eyelids
and remembered being on ambien,
and liking my eyelids very much.
now i’m hidden under my covers
looking like i should have a
flashlight and a book.
but really i am just scrolling
through messages.
i can’t even read.
and i am in the dark.
and my screen is too bright.
and my thigh hurts
because i made a mistake
and let someone in
and now their name is a window of me.
why did you get mad
when i held hands
with a boy from sociology?
his hands were warm,
i liked his warm hands

i have never felt more
somber and
sad and
alone
than i do in a crowd
of people
that you’re not in.

s.t.