Sophia Ashley

Of Havoc, Crisis & Inelegant Arms

At birth, grief turns red litmus sky— blue with strokes of longing.

outstretched arms gloving a white miracle,

till I age slowly in the rough-handling.

              the hour meets me screengrabbing each moment of hand,

                        each forefinger towering

an inch over my delicate loin. & from the

vowel, a boy births crisis on his purlicue.

I was preteen & still wanting of flesh,

        thinking fingerprints are new dressing for wounds,

are compass mapping the scar that is this

body: my souvenir of brown wreck—

past perfect of a bruise.

in the shortest of tenses, I verb the havoc of my arm into a bold object.

the uproar on my wrist lumping into chaos.

grief down the line; my skin run into debts.

I am all this arm has ruined without breaking

a sweat

  that breaks all the crevice in this body. futile praise, draining my jaw by day

as evening shore up the guttered slang awash on my lips with lusting.

once upon a queer function— a heated

argument jerks through the wired projector,


                       where motion-being robbed of breath makes a hole

                                of his purlicue, taking

the space in between the inner thumb for an accurate premise. I take

the space in between my arms for an opening. & when I lower my skin in its abyss,

I give off crisis as an aftertaste

& my wound grieve in colors

                                   so vibrant— each tear takes the shape of a bleed.

at prom, a boy grooms his arm to the mold of my face. I sniff lusting in his palm.

glove a horniness in the approach, dressing my fingerprints in vulgar light

                                      & in that moment— a thumb

glistens from behind.

Sophia Ashley’s poetry have been previously published/forthcoming in Native Skin lit Magazine, Wondrous Real Magazine, The Capilano Review, Grimscribe Press, Australia Access Poetry Journal & elsewhere.

Poet Sophia Ashley