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Ashtray Musings

Arielle Sutton


Freeform Falling

The raw, aching physicality

of feather light lips and freeform falling–

the pop of an almond rolling against my tongue.

Is this what breathing feels like?

When the these particles in my lungs escape,

all I’m left with is the visceral potency

of a charming vocabulary.


Your hair was like the rain

in a dark flower petal summer,

each strand its own feral moment

ensnared in my fingers.

I used to think raccoons lived in my hair.

You were the one that told me

those knots and gnarls were like the lines

on my palm; an overlooked destiny in peach.

I liked your puckered lips and the taste of

strawberries on your tongue,

or maybe it was my tongue,

or maybe I’m just not sure anymore.

Maybe we belong together.

Maybe you were just raccoon tangles and pixie dust.

New Combat Boots

Chipped seafoam nail polish and smudged cherry lip gloss

give way to lingerie and an acquired fondness for skirts.

Twenty-three gave you your glow and the confidence

to pour cement into those cracks in your veins.

The new boots don’t have a heel, but you’re standing taller,

rising above your mother’s sweet insults

and the panic that causes your throat to stick

when possibilities start to seem real.

You finally know that the sharks that you were swimming with

are just Swedish Fish, and you’re going to be alright.

Pavement Princess

Lipstick stains on my mirror sing

Of tulle skirts and pristine corsages,

Sticky sweet moments captured in pearl.

Tonight my lilac lipstick matches my skin.

Giving out fragments of my soul now.

I’ll trade you a cup of my confidence for

Real human interaction, whatever that means.

Languid affairs were never my strong suit anyway.


Whimsy takes me back to your lips,

drops me into your daydream,

slides me over your skin and into your secret

lavender lullabies. I can teach you new songs.

Cradle me in your laugh, straddle me

until the pillars fall and the sun turns green.

Crave me even when your mind is gone.

Let me burrow deep inside

and hold the parts that are eclipsed by your skin.

Because we never learned how

to let go.

About the Author :

Arielle Sutton is a graduate student at Truman State University, studying secondary English education. She spends her spare time mixing popcorn with M&Ms, quoting every line of “Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper”, and pretending she’s a mermaid.