Tuesday, December 13, 2011

all over again

The ice sits in my glass,
dripping with whiskey residue
I am warm,
with cheeks flushed
I remove my coat,
as you drag me to the dance floor
The music echoes through my bones,
My feet tingle,
as my second drink sets in
We sway to the rythm of the tunes,
as the base drowns out all lonliness
I lose all senses,
with you,
you stranger you
Your hands caress my swinging hips
I glide closer to you,
leaving no space between us
Suddenly we are moving as one
Unaware of those around us
My heart is beating out of my chest
as we make our way to the bar,
I sip slowly,
anticipating your next move
My cheeks hurt from laughing too hard,
and I am all smiles tonight,
Your hands find mine,
with ease we are back in motion
twirling around,
as your arms grip my waist
The breath catches in my throat,
as your lips move up my neck
I shiver with excitement
as you softly kiss my cheek
My eyes close,
forseeing where your lips will be next
Then the moment comes,
I hear it, faintly at first,
That song, that old familiar tune,
I compose myself, suddenly aware
The blood rushes from my face,
as I stumble out the door
leaving my dear stranger
in complete disarray
It takes no time at all
for the song to end,
but the damage is done,
and I'll have to forget you
all over again

Monday, June 6, 2011


I am neither here nor there
I come and go like the seasons 
Spouts of emptiness spread
like an incurable disease
taking over every part of me
Filling me with a bitter chill
And no flame, no matter how potent
Can quench this frostbitten hole
that has made my heart it's home

It begins with an image
A faint memory of a time I smiled
A time when an exhaled breath 
meant careless days 
A time when words
 were smothered in truth 
A moment when everything felt like it should
When life was falling into place
And finding its way through the muck

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I ache
with the absence of you
With eyes shut
I try to forget your face
But to no avail
You remain,
a piece of me
A solitary resonance 
echoing through my veins
I feel you
in the very breath
that leaves my lips
My nights are spent
wide awake
while you meander around
in my thoughts
Leaving a trail
of overwhelming sadness
And when I have fallen
into a deep slumber
hoping to escape
those melancholy thoughts of you
There you are,
creeping into my dreams
Attaching yourself
to every image I can muster
Projecting your very essence
into the depths of my soul
Leaving a permanent footprint
down every road I venture
And I awake in the morning,
Sinking further
into the depths of insanity
Plagued by those
grim memories of you
And what might have been

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tear me down

The scene is the same, though the calendar on the wall shows a different date.  I watch your mouth, words flowing out like vomit after a bad hangover.  Trusting you with eyes closed and lips parted, I’ve let you kiss me a thousand times.  Those words sting my ears and I can see right through you.  I question you, pleading for the truth, and all you can do is smile that familiar smile, denying what we both already know.  I know what happens next.  You will  hold me and utter those famous words.  A meaningless apology from a man with no heart.  Deep down I know you will never change, but a part of me, a very small part, hopes that one day you will.  I lay down on the bed, needing space from you and your constant betrayal; Allowing myself to be lulled into a numb state where the world around me meshes together like chalk art attacked by rain.  I add another layer to my already distanced self and fall asleep in a puddle of tears. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Things are different now
in this decrepit little house
wedged between a chop shop and a promiscuous alley
There are no familiar smells of home
only the stench of filth and decay
The bars on the windows, 
remind me I can no longer be naive about the world
The tall cement walls 
make me feel more like a prisoner than an inhabitant 
And yet I am content 
to curl up in a chair and stare out the window 
past the dirt stained screen and the power lines 
over the wall and up at the night sky
The sky is my muse
allowing for endless possibility 

I wanted nothing more than to watch the fireworks
Not from a fancy place
or a crowded park among strangers, 
Sitting on the roof would have sufficed
sipping cheap wine out of a paper cup 
and feeling like it was just you and I
Rooftop rebels

You missed them all
the white ones 
that start in a screech and end in a flash
The purple and red 
that make no noise at all then suddenly appear before your eyes
like a  burlesque  dancer 
revealing just enough to keep you interested
The green ones that fizz out slowly 
and the blue ones that circle, leaving a dusty trail
The ones that glitter like stars
And the finale that makes you sit on the edge of your seat
A fantastic array of light
each one more beautiful than the next, 
as if to outdo one another

The sky goes dark 
No longer filled with popping lights
or distant crackles and booms
I sit in silence
With no one to lean on
Or smell the dab of perfume 
I placed on the back of my neck
The end of a miraculous show
And I have never felt so lonely

A little bird told me

I walked atop a hill today

But found tall buildings in my way

I stretched way up on my tippy toes

And still a cluttered skyline arose

I saw a higher place ahead

I thought I'd give that one a tread

I made it to the top to find

No emerald mountains,

no peace of mind

I slumped onto a nearby rock

And tried to cure my writer's block

I pondered and mused about what to write

But found no clarity with steel in sight

It wasn't fair to have come all this way

To a sightless sky

on a smog drenched day

A Robin flew past

in a hurried flutter

I'd swear I heard him softly mutter

'No matter how high you climb my dear

You'll always be faced with cluttered frontier

 what you learn on the journey

means the most in the end,

And the hills in life you must transcend"

I thought this bird was awfully nice,

To take time to give a stranger advice

As I waved goodbye, I blinked twice to see,

A tiny nest cradled in a nearby tree

Two monstrous skyscrapers stood at its' sides

And yet this tree grew grandly with beauteous pride

I knew then what she meant as I began to write

Of a girl whose world seemed suddenly bright

- Ashley Ratcliffe -

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Here I sit
Memories of you tugging at me
like an anchor
dragging melancholy thoughts
into the depths of my soul
and pushing them to the surface
in the form of a single salty tear
I imagine you
your face tormented by shame
confused and alone
lying in a white room
staring out the window past the rusty bars

Monday, April 11, 2011

A dream of 'you'

   I had a dream about you last night. It is the third one I’ve had.  In the dream, we were walking through the woods, you held my hand the way a real man should.  In a way that leads me, but does not control me, that protects me, but doesn’t crush me.  It is strange how dark it is in dreams with you, yet I do not associate you with night or anything dark.  Perhaps it is my subconscious telling me that this is forbidden.  That I should not be dreaming of you, thinking about you or wondering what kind of kiss your lips possess.  We came upon an old house.  The windows were still in tact, the paint was fresh and yet there was no sign of life inside the house.  You took a seat on the front steps of the porch and playfully tugged me to your side.  I leaned on your legs and it was as if the weight of the world had flown away.  I have not known you very long and I shouldn’t be that comfortable with you, but I am and in my dream I sense that there is a deep connection growing between us.  One that does not need to be discussed or analyzed but is content to let itself evolve.  We talked about life, although I cannot recall what specifically, but I do remember your eyes.  They were piercing even through the cold dark of our surroundings.  
     You suddenly lit a joint and took a long hard hit.  The smoke billowed out of your mouth, enticing me and filling my mind with curious thoughts.  We passed it back and forth for what seemed like hours, although time does seem to alter itself when in the presence of Mary Jane.  We laid on the porch and looked up at the stars.  It became quiet, and I felt my body melting into the wooden planks.  There is nothing more calming than sitting in silence with someone and feeling completely at ease because you know the other person feels the same.  You rolled over onto your stomach and looked down at me and I suddenly felt tingles run down my entire body.  The world around us was a blur and as you moved in closer I closed my eyes. 
     Your lips touched mine gently and I could not control myself.  I wanted to yell for you to stop, to push you away, because I knew we shouldn’t be doing this, but everything in me said otherwise.  I kissed you back and it was warm and inviting, just as I had imagined it would be. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


That moon it taunts me
It pulls me in with its white glow
and makes me think of you
And there you are invading my mind
seeping into my skin
and pumping into my veins
I breath in and remember your face
Your eyes that never left my gaze
The subtle way your hand reached for mine
I felt it, that moment of extascy when you know
You know youll never be the same
And it is painful
And it is thrilling
But it takes over your being 
you are content 
Content to linger in it
To let yourself wonder in the possibility


I tell myself to stop

To force the words from my mouth

But you cling to me

like static in the wind

I put if off for another day

In hopes that you'll find your way

I hate you

for making me feel small

I am the discarded one

The picture you gaze upon

when you're lonely

The memory that lingers in your thoughts

You burn hot and you run cold

And I am your target for sorrow

You bombard me with emotion

You lift me up higher than I've ever been

Then release your grasp

to watch me tumble down

I am chained to a familiar place

A place where I think of you when I wake

A place where you haunt my dreams

A place where I am all alone

Alone to dwell on what once was

Alone to wonder

what might have been

Not a soul here knows how I feel

I keep you all to myself


If you had stayed
Who would I be
I ponder this for hours
I wonder would I be different
Would I have made better choices
Would I have given so many kisses away
Or looked for you in every man I met
Trying desperately to figure out what I did wrong
Wondering why no one ever stays
Wondering why I am disposable
Maybe I would have felt good enough
Or known I deserved better
Perhaps I would’ve cried less
Or felt complete
If you had stayed
Who would I be

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I had a dream I was a whore
No matter what I did
Life was a bore
I drank martinis
And wore nice clothes
But something inside me
Had begun to decompose
Every man wanted me
I played every part
The lover The fighter
The Demure and The Tart
I dressed like a Virgin
And kissed like a Vamp
My soul was a Martyr
My reflection a Tramp
I danced for the Gents
With the devilish eyes
They grabbed at my zipper
They squeezed on my thighs
I held back a tear
When they lead me upstairs
And took several shots
When they came in pairs
No matter the man
No matter the night
They looked right through me
And grinned out of spite
I did what they wanted
I never said no
They paid me in cash
They paid me in blow
And when it was over
With a thrust and a shout
They’d lean over and whisper
“Can you let yourself out?”


      I stay in my town for as long as I can. I call you with excuses of laundry and groceries.  Things that are now a part of my life.  Adult things and yet I do not feel like an adult, but more a child playing house.  I take my time at the grocery store. Aisle by aisle, wondering aimlessly around, thinking of my life and what it is I am doing with it. I sip a coffee as I go, enjoying how something so simple can put me at ease.  My cart is empty.  Perhaps that is a metaphor.  I think of you, miles away, the one I play house with.  Content in knowing that I will make my way home tonight.  Playing your games for hours on end, barely blinking, hardly aware.  I wonder what you would do if I did not come home.  If you’d watch the clock after the sun went down and begin to wonder if I was alright.  Perhaps you’d tell yourself I was stuck in traffic.  After another hour had passed and the sun had tucked itself in for the night, I wonder if you’d then begin to worry.  If you’d bother to check your phone or give me a call.  If it would be too much effort to send a text, after all that is what communication has come down to these days.  A condensed message of meaningless letters and slang. 

      I see a man walking opposite me.  His cart holds a head of lettuce, two red apples and a box of Corn Pops.  I being to think of what his dinner will consist of tonight.  He smiles at me and I smile back.  He is handsome with a scruffy face.  The kind you know would tickle your chin if he kissed you.  We stand, reading the labels on salad dressings.  There are twenty two different brand of Italian dressing.  How would one ever choose?  He acts as if he wants to say something.  Or perhaps I am being ridiculous, but I begin to realize neither of us are in need of salad dressing.  I become nervous with the encounter so I smile and leave the aisle.  When I round the corner, my heart beat slows down again and I check my phone, nothing.  You must have risen from your shiny screen to quench your thirst.  Didn’t you wonder then where I was?  I am in the last aisle when I realize my cart is the keeper of an empty coffee cup and a single can of soup.  I pay for my soup, discard of my cup and head out the door to find a full moon glowing down on me.  The biggest I have seen in years.  I find a bench and sit, enjoying the first of many warm Summer nights.  I think to myself how much you would like this moon, but I quickly regret thinking this.  I know I care more about you than you do of me. 

        Suddenly I am not alone on the bench.  The scruffy faced stranger hands me an apple and promises it isn’t poisoned.  I laugh and take a bite.  We sit in silence, enjoying the moon and I wonder what you would think of this.  We exchange the usual chit chat, brief and light.  His laugh is warm and it makes his cheeks turn a slight red. I want to know so much about him, but then I think of you.  Sitting at home, staring into your own little world, hands clenched around a game controller.  I thank him for the apple and tell him I must head home.  He is caught off guard by my sudden exit, but he seems to understand.  As I drive over the mountain and through the bright city lights, I think of you.  Maybe you have been worried about me all this time and I feel guilty for enjoying a moonlit bench with a stranger.  
     As I unlock the door, I see you, illuminated by the glow of the television, staring intently into the screen.  You say a quick hello, with not so much as a glance in my direction.  I change into my pajamas, walk silently to the kitchen and heat up my single can of soup.  I sit in the chair, staring up at the night sky and I think of him.  The stranger with an apple.  And I wonder if he is thinking of me too.