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Aseh Dec 2012
So which Mother do you blame?

She who endowed you with charcoal skin
Burnt by the searing torch of her womb?

She who first nourished your frantic hands & bluish lips,
Diseasing your defenseless blood,
Predisposing you to crave a leakage of acid
Trickling down, down
Your throat burning
Holes into your
& Esophagus?


She who pried open your eyes,
Sewn shut by black-singed needles,
Crossed by death’s most avid gaze?

She who placed her wrinkled hands beneath your tiny chin,
Pardoning you as your naked eyes gleamed bright,
While the masked men in all-white stood silent,
Lamenting Earth’s injustice?

While you cultivate your answer, love,
I beg of you, remember
That this fire ripping through your muscles,
These millions of molecules playing ping-
In your brain,
That bitter taste that relieves
Your starved tongue --

They cannot save you,
They cannot reclaim you,
They do not know you
As I do

Every single night I beg of them,
Release you
Aseh Dec 2012
go anywhere but to the movies.
show up to a party,
sip ***** in the kitchen,
at midnight let lips rest for an instant
                           --then draw back.

the boy in biology class
has wild curly hair
                           --be careful.

when lips brush against cheeks
when pale timid fingers trace spines

never stray too far from home.
never sacrifice anything
but once
make a journey.
turn away from civilization.

shake the sweaty hand of a bald, tan man
wearing sunglasses,

claw through the huddled masses,
yearning to breathe free,

step out
onto the cool gray platform.
feel awkward in your brown leather
jacket amongst black windbreakers,
lean back against the rumbling doors,
search drawn,
blank faces for reactions.
find nothing.

exit on the wrong end, the far end.

do not to walk on the left side of the street
-- that’s where the bad **** happens.

do not to look anyone in the eye.

do not think.

if you must think, think only
about lips and brown eyes and star-shaped sunglasses.

look around and realize
that this elevator's button don’t light up anymore,
and the number thirteen has been scratched out by someone’s keys.

let your footsteps echo against tile floors.

let your eyes catch,

and inhale deeply
because you like the smell of his deodorant,

just this once.
Aseh Mar 2015
When you’re thirty, you’re supposed to know
things already. You’re supposed to have
your **** together. A wife, maybe
even a kid. But this man still felt
like a boy. Shrugging life away
with cigarettes stealthily
torn from the box,
afternoon breaks
whistling through the
scabby throat, weeping silently
into his cigarette, smiling empty through
the golden tint of a pitcher of beer. Sadness sat
in his eyes and it never seemed to go away. The sadness
made him look younger, more innocent. He thought no one noticed.

But someone did.
Aseh Dec 2012
I came to the rocky shores of Greece
To stand amid the rows of stark white houses
To find your face in a mirage that spreads across
These seamless gray skies

And even though you are gone
I felt you
In the pin ****** of sand on my soles
I felt your heart
Breathing deep beneath the earth
I heard the crash
Of your head against hot metal and
I tried to stop the blood but
It seeped between the cracks
In my fingers and I shuddered
And plunged
Into the icy green foam
And my thoughts converged like clouds

I have oft wondered
Why we clutch
The calloused hands that strike us

And why our blushing cheeks lend such
Easy passageways for
Graceless tears
Aseh Feb 2016
He leaves
a perpetual question mark

Closes a gap
opens a new one

Buries me
In burning drags
And powder

I am a pawn, a
Vague magnet

Easing myself
Between the
I expect to
Aseh Dec 2012
before we fell silent
you said, “I am going to die”
and I couldn't tell if you were being serious
and maybe you couldn’t either
and with each cigarette
those fumbling fingers tore from the box
your eyes flashed
jagged streaks of shame

and now that silence seems endless
because you are in Kentucky
and you’ve blown everything
on making sure the feeling never went away

and your dog died two weeks ago
in your new L.A. flat,
his discarded bones nestled upon a stained grey mattress,
and gnats and flies crawl over his
accusatory eyes
and blood-tinged matted fur,
and the stone mouth drips a
yellow stench that seeps through
the newly wooded floor,
and there he dies,
again and again
because you cannot go home
and look death in the face

and your drum set plays without you now
the awesome thuds still reverberate
through the earth’s worn plaster walls
and abandoned mahogany cabinets
and also in your room with the upside-down bed
and in crowded subway cars and passenger planes
and in the dusty basement where we once
made you drink the whole thing down, then hushed you up
with blank towels and sedatives,
and the sound is deafening
Aseh Feb 2015
How does it feel
to burn a hole into the evening?
Before our skins touch--let's sleep; let's heal
Not quick enough, yet
Still as an electric shark
All you're meant to be,
you are.

Mirror him; whisper him
Fly through his fingers!
Let's be stuck; let's be bound
Let's believe in what we found
Will you stay, or will you break?
Brother, it's insatiable ache
Will you walk away? Expectation
fills the space
where two lines

Sweet child, I have enough time
for you. So
let's plan for sunrise;
let's give in-
to low sighs.
Our haunt; our gaze
Our moment gently waits.

These chunks of flame devour pain
Dress us up in gasoline.
Like a spell; like a dream.
But I can't teach if
You're a machine,
and I wonder
if you know
how much I'd like to go
down deep

rising fast
sing and dance
scream what's left--
Not quick enough, yet
Still as an electric shark
All you're meant to be,
you are.
Aseh Feb 2016
what will happen
to the rooms I filled with clothes and books
and shoes and plans and bodies?
And where will I keep
my unchecked desire for love
within the folds of this fierce
Aseh Mar 2015
Warm moist
Thigh dark meat lingers
Like a cowboy's drawl
In your cochlea
Aseh Mar 2015
Once, I bathed in anxiety,
soaking it all into my follicles and letting it slide
between my bones and through my muscles like ice water.
And I reeked.
Others couldn’t stand to be around me.
I became an inhuman symbol,
something robotic and unfeeling.

Then, I reached the peak of hypocrisy--
rejected sparkling convention yet was
simultaneously enamored with it.
I binged on harsh words
aimed at diminishing my sense of self.
I was a frail,
98-pound girl
looking into the mirror
and seeing only excess.

Throughout, I was weighted with bruised limbs--
from being grabbed too hard and pounded too rough against the floor,
and broken down doors and cracked cellphones--
which my father threw violently against the wall.
I watched the glass shatter and end tables topple
down at my mother’s feet,
her eyes wide and glassy,
her face fallen.

Once, I stood naked in a sputtering shower
and slammed my fist
into the face of the person I loved
the most, leaving him
with a haunted

Then, I picked a flower from the sky.

Throughout, I cried because my father left me,
while pretending I was only crying
about a sad song.

These days no longer belong to me,
but the voices are still there.
And the ache.
And the fear.
Aseh Mar 2015
in* feels
underwhelming but
out feels
distant and
peaking towards the whiteness feels
a little too much
like your hands on my back and looks
like your bared teeth damp face and hungry eyes hurting for me so the
aftermath feels
a little less
like throbbing pain while
before feels
like a
Aseh Dec 2012
It unraveled slowly
turned us into
broken lamps and upturned end tables

My birth equaled the demise of all his pretenses
They dissolved in the spaces behind walls
They filled the cracks of the yellowed plaster

Once I was small enough to hide there too
Concealing myself among the decay made sense
When ugly truths burst forth they swallowed us
I cowered unseen and thus forgiven
A silent witness to my own life
I wish now I could do the same
Aseh Dec 2012
Dear Prodigy,
I confess my eyes take photographs
(of parking lots or jeans with **** stains on knees
and my face caked in dirt) and
I never wanted your face to ****** the earth brown.
I never wanted Cracked Bone against Rough Stone.
I even star-dusted my eyes for you.

Dear Prodigy,
I’m sorry I talked to the boy with
black eyeliner for fifteen minutes while you were
on the train to nowhere. Our eyes were bleeding
out of our ears and we couldn’t stop wanting to
understand everything.
There was blood in our head and our hands
blood in your eyes
vapor in our lungs
and the transparent sun was making
my arms fragile and boneless.
I’ll never forget falling asleep clad in ripped black stockings
on your unmade bed.
Do you remember when we tried to swallow everything?

Dear Prodigy,
I dreamt last night that the whites of your eyes had been
dulled by the Indefatigable Reality of Time.
I confess my eyes take photographs
(of floating bodies and tight crisp jeans and my face caked in makeup).
I confess that my eyelids cracked open to receive light.
I kissed you but barely felt it
and there was scattered glass at our feet. The gleaming shards soaked up the silence.
My heart was sold.
I even star-dusted my eyes for you.
Aseh Apr 2014
If we become thick
and syrupy with love,
we'll suffocate
and my utmost
thunderous roars
shall be muted
by the honey glaze

I'd rather crawl
on callous palms
through wilted flower-beds
caked in dirt
and wait and look
out and up into
cauliflower clouds
and create
my own extraordinary visions
of what It All should look like--

drowning and throbbing
and motionless forms in my mind
silent wanderings
devilish and perverse

and I'll add them to the list
of things I'll never do
while in the background
through an anonymous window
"I" make love
to "you"
Aseh Dec 2019
The way we love each other despite ourselves and the universe is insatiable. You’re the feast to my starving poetry, and I’m scrambling after you trying to unscramble all the pieces you let trail behind; I’ve spiraled into puzzling over every detail of your face and the imprints on your heart and the things you’re never really saying but silently radiating

The way we love each other with our whole arms and our whole hearts beating up against one other, magnetism pulling our bodies together all close and warm until our skin is melding and there is no more feeling or air, only lightness and the white behind your eyes

And even then, it isn’t enough—

that can’t get enough of you feeling, so tragic and profound, how it makes you move
different, that sudden onset
of warmth (and how that cool can pull you down so low)

analyzing you as if you aren’t equally a mess as I am, and you’re so deeply beautiful to me, even if the universe can’t see it yet

And yet but despite ourselves, and the universe
Aseh Feb 2015
Give me words
Until they mean nothing
Wrap me in their meaninglessness
Until I feel nothing

The only thing that's real
Is your energy

The way you walk with
Uneven footsteps and laugh
Too often at unsaid jokes
Shakes my core

I'm coming undone
Too much weight to carry

I am changed
People notice

Intelligence breeds anxiety
Or is it ignorance?
Which one overtakes me?

Which energy
chooses me?
Clings like a shadow to my back?
Claws and controls me?

Maybe I'll find what I'm looking for
In New Orleans' haunted
Purple gold walls
Streets slick with death
Drenched in a
Clownish haze,
Maybe I'll weep there,
Let it soak

I drank all your shame while I was
You left greasy fingerprints down
My back and they
Spread across my stomach like
Wildfire, my branches
Split like black veins cursed
Coursing with black blood
What voice speaks inside of me

She says I've lived in too many places
Too many energies have made love to me

Where is my identity?
Which voice do I know is mine?

An unsung chorus:
Bathe in salt, she says
Cleanse yourself in sunlight
Stay alone

So why am I so afraid to be alone?
This one's for Mary
Aseh Nov 2015
When people accuse me of
being emotional or
of playing the victim,
it invalidates me,
and then I feel small
and then furious tears brim my
victimized eyes

But as I'm trying to explain this
to you over cold chicken wings,
I go glassy and red with shame
because your words just put a cap
on my emotional allowance
and suddenly I see you
as just another dead end,
a road that leads
to an unlived life.

Are you a man or a prop, and am I
a fly from a web--
detaching, leaving weak limbs behind
in its grasp?
or am I the lone spider--
she who disorients
then releases
just before
venom hits
Aseh Mar 2015
I didn't know if
pulling it from the wreckage
would feel as good
the second time around.

I dragged it shoulders first and
it felt heavier and damp and the body gave and
lurched forward, unarmed and broken like trash strewn
across the road slick with black wetness
and silent like
a ranger at

Make Space between our bodies,
it once told me,
and find the dirt
in the cracks
on the ceiling of
what used to be
a brand new home.
(Greasy handprints on white plaster never
stay invisible forever.)

For without Space
there is no silence,
just the deafening explosion
of skin slapping skin slapping across bone crashing into knees connecting joints at the sticky side of muscled electric adhesion; breathing becomes mutual, then
Aseh Dec 2014
These things have a way of coming back to me—in ruinous circles—finding me where I left them… in dusty basements and creaky porches… in faded streets and quiet bedrooms.

The reality of the past is always etched into the present—rattling impatiently inside of my brain—and histories are tangled up inside of me.

Histories of:
Small blue, hope-infused amphetamines to flatten my voice and keep the screams from falling out,
Thick, heavy dope to muck up my lungs and ear canals and all the basic doors of my perception,
Cold yellow wine that frosts up the glass, to take me to a summer barbeque at my uncles’ in Puerto Rico.

But you are a knot in my chest that feels good to unravel.
So listen.
The world is playing for us.
The world is playing us.
And the world is just playing.
Over and over again every morning;
every morning it plays over.

Like a silent black-and-white film:
the sunlight from the window hits me square in the face,
warmth trickles down inside of me like gold,
filling cracks and empty spaces.
I ride the train downtown to your house and crawl into your bed.
I am in a phone booth,
pressing the cold black receiver tightly to my ear,
twirling the silver cord in my hand,
bitter words stuck to the back of my throat like scabs.
My imperceptible tears seep into the little black holes in the receiver,
and I wait
for them to reach you.

We are in transit,
but we never meet in the middle.
Every morning.

Listen to my bones.
Aseh Apr 2014
What is worth recalling of yourself before the age of eighteen?

You could mention, briefly,
the various rises and falls and manias and
melodramas cured with forties of Old English
in various public restrooms and upturned furniture
pieces and feigned illnesses and ringing eardrums and
refurbished tractor parts and secret purchases of
gigantic reptiles and alternate personalities and
obsessive yet unnecessary rituals and
self-inflicted sacrifices
all of which

You could picture, vaguely,
a youth enmeshed in greenery and
the swelling chorus of cracked wails from
dust-faced vagabonds who, in your memory
are somehow perpetually draped in scarlet
and earthy patches of torn fabric
and of course
the unmistakably
stench of

But in this moment
these topics
seem irrelevant
Aseh Aug 2015
It’s not just pain,
it’s hotter,
more compelling.
It's heartbreak-love,
the kind that tears you apart inside
and yet awakens you
to the silenced realities to which
most are blind.

It is a pull, a lock that
hooks inside of another
person drawing
them to you
You feel like a magnet
at all times,
crushed when he looks at you
with those sad, terrified eyes
which beg for hope.
You are crushed for him,
crushed for his pain.
Always wanting
to keep him
close to you, to give him
the warmth you
somehow know
he needs.

No one will hurt you here,
you want him to know.
You’re safe with me, I will protect you.
You want him to be happy,
more than you care
about your own happiness:
that’s heartbreak love.

And it's always the loners,
the lost souls,
the obscured escapees,
the ones with the shaded expressions and watering, orb-like eyes,
the ones with the smiles that don’t quite touch light into the face,
the kind that drains life out of you,
yet leaves you needing more.

He’s my boy,
that’s how you see it,
how you experience it.
He’s yours,
and you would do anything
to protect your child.
Aseh Jun 2019
stumbling bowlegged through the last subway car,
loose-fit black rags bandaging frail limbs,
face twisted in a permanent scowl,
matted grey hair jutting from a flaky scalp,
she jangles her paper cup of coins
each flail of the arm a sharp crescendo;
I flinch.

She extends her hand with a gaze that says: pity me;
I cannot look. I don’t want anything to stir in me,
my own pain is already too heavy,

but --

here they are: spoiled thoughts wafting over me like the waves
of her robust stench: warmth
between my thighs,
bounding up thick muscular arms that aim at me in such earnest that my disillusionment melts away, and I am paralyzed
by the lure of pheromones and the smell of skin
which doesn’t quite leave you after you leave him.

And then truth clangs hard in my chest:

but her bones are made of steel!
So who am I to look away?
Maybe if something were to crash into me,
I’d pulverize
Aseh Jan 2015
her smell—
clean, unobtrusive and vaguely pleasant—
chemically-produced lemons.

I’m not offended by it
but I wouldn’t wear it.
I wouldn’t even use it
as an air freshener.

It would probably give me a headache after a while;
if it were any stronger,
any more vibrant and yellow,
then I’ll bet that even just one whiff
would send dizzying
tinglies into
Aseh Jan 2019
you were too much like a nectarine
in early summer. All poreless and bright
and insinuating sweetness. Filled me up
with your secret eruption then shut me down
with your sleek silver tongue. Lava barricaded my eardrums,
enhancing my blood, fire in your eyes.
I was a plum, stealing forth
in the wake of your Augustine heat. My tender skin
gave way to your deft touch.

But then I bit down,
tasted the flesh beneath your glossy sheen
and oh how it betrays you!
So yellow and unripe, so taut with newness,
still clinging to the brightness of dawn,
spring-frozen with fear of the darkness
of my nectar.

Today I woke up with a magnet
in my pitted stomach. Echoes of
cold metal scour my throat. That love-
-less twang in the aortal penumbras--hope,
a refuge swallowed by the ephemeral night.
I always knew
you were too much like a nectarine
in early summer.
Aseh Jan 2015
for love in other
people to forget
our own
Aseh Sep 2018
I was never looking into you
I was only pouring an image of myself onto your canvas
Of course I didn’t know
it was me looking into me
this was the mirage of my desire
always in the shape of a question mark
and you
a sweeping mystery
oozing something toeing the peculiar line between *** and titanium (cold, edgy, sharp - trembling
between pain and principle
like blazer and tie
or more like halfway-unbuttoned-shirt-and-slacks on-with-no-tie
(it was like you were making an effort!))

It was ***
but it also wasn’t ***
(I am empty
I am full)

I keep building up and up and up
all these images in my Mind
(which never shuts up)
(a never-ending narrative
She spins and spins and succumbs
only in those rare and passing circumstances)
constructing people like buildings
only the scaffolding is imaginary and when
the architecture folds in on itself
and my beloved figurines come toppling down on me
why do I still get so surprised
so stung
so lonely in that
hollow and distant way
(like your Mind is echoing
in on

My Mind is like quicksand
devouring streams of memory with ease
forever unsatisfied and craving more of the same
sharp edges and all
praying for a satiation in some distant future
She knows will never come

Only here
in this tiny universe
can I spell out anything resembling rationality
from the mess and junk and tangled tendrils of my Mind
Only here
can I extract bits and pieces of thoughts
and try to puzzle them together
until they make sense
until I can separate “Me” from “Reality"

And what doesn’t make sense
what I need to understand
is why I feel so beset
with this heavy magnetism that
overpowers me to the point of
(with little to no room for breathing)
and why it was you
who pushed me into this feeling
and you
who is still pulling me along
far past the threshold of my resistance
and I am done
and it stings
Aseh Dec 2012
I have so many things I need interventions for.
Like not taking enough showers,

Q called me an eccentric genius yesterday.
What a label. It might be my favorite one yet.
Better than ****,
Said R.

My life is a disaster.
It’s perfect.
No one knows me.
I have friends.
They don’t know me either.
I don’t know them.
They are strangers.
I love them all.
But I can’t help them.
I can barely help myself.

Sometimes I just want to stop breathing, but it’s too much effort to hold my breath.
Sometimes I just want to scream at the sky, but I don’t want it to scream back at me.

And don’t try to tell me that dogs aren’t people.
Of course dogs are people.
They are more like people than we are.
We are not people.
I am not a person.

I am a little bit of a person, a sliver of a person.
I am a mug, maybe. Fill me up with caffeinated beverage.
Brown sludgy liquid. Let’s all pretend we like it.
It makes it easier to accept that
We don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

What if we stayed there just,
What if we lied on our backs,
Pressed ourselves between our
Sheets like people-paninis
And waited and waited
Till we starved half to death?

It would be the new crazy
Weight-loss miracle diet
And everyone would suddenly want to come over
And take pictures of us but
We’d too proud and dignified
To allow them to publish the pictures in magazines.

Only we wouldn’t be able to stop them
Because we are technically considered public figures
Which in this country means
People are allowed to take pictures of you
And make up stories about you
And print them on sheets of paper
And hand them out all over the world
And then people read them and think
That the words on the paper are little bits of you,
That they are true.

And the funny thing is they are,
But we try to pretend we’re not.

We all do it.
We all say we aren’t things.
We’re not judgmental.
We’re not mean.
We’re not worried about superficial aspects of our faces and bodies.
We’re not going to go on a diet.
We’re not going to stop smoking and drinking and hacking all over the place.
We’re not.

We’re independent beings.
We are women!
Androgynous beasts!

People get so angry about things. It’s hilarious.
Things that are
Like the color of a shoelace.
The time on your watch.
Countries with arbitrarily sketched borders.

Why not just erase them?
Who would care?
Certainly not me.
I think
We should all be more sexually active with one another,
Or without one another, and that
We should all start wearing helmets.
Aseh Mar 2015
i barely know you
i know more about nap experiences than i know about you
i know you have a brain
i know eyelids carry all the gravity in the world sometimes
i know everyone has body parts that have been in places they should not have been
i know everyone has forgotten about time for a while
i know you the way i know about time
i know it lingers in the back of your mind while it waits for you to think of it
i know about ironic sunshine
how it stings those days you can barely open your eyes
i know this isn't the right way to live but
i know that it isn't wrong either
i know it's uncomfortable to remember things you aren't sure whether the other person remembers
i know there were moments you felt closeness without having verbal confirmation of it even though the avoidance of your eyes deeply
mystifies me
Aseh Oct 2016
The finality and profundity
with which you broke me
has hardened me;
I feel now I have nothing to fear.

Except I'm encased in a glass jar;
An invisible boundary neatly capping
how much I can let myself feel.

And the rims of this glass jar
are curved and heavy.
Aseh Jan 2015
The end was a hurt, a low throbbing of the temples, a panic in the chest.
The end was a purple circle, an eye sunken in more deeply into its socket than the day before.
The end was an end; the end was “The End.”
The end was a notebook underneath a mattress we lifted up to pull the sheets over them, beige and freshly cleaned and still smelling faintly of detergent.
The end was when the words scribbled in slanting, harsh ink entered into my mind, into my soul, burned itself into my face.
The end was when I looked back up at him, and in my face, he saw something had changed.
The end was when he pushed me against the wall in a dark corner, glow lights like floating heads in the darkness around us, when I felt the heat of his chest, the controlled strength of his hands pressed against my hips.
The end was a feeling.
The end was his roommate’s 21st birthday celebration at a club in downtown Atlanta, when we looked out over the balcony at the sprawling city waiting below us, waiting for us, alive. When we talked about our futures, our careers. I was to be an English professor – he, a corporate lawyer, a politician, a businessman, anything lucrative. I would do what I love, he would create our life with the profits gleaned from a more conventional career path.
The end was when he left for Prague, or when I left for Spain, when we stopped speaking on the phone every day, when the connection fell flat and disintegrated.
The end was when I socked him in the face.
The end was when I read the words that spelled her name, the girl before me, and how he had missed her---was it when we had been falling in love?
The end was when I learned he described my body not as beautiful but “full figured” – for these were the truth, the contents of the mind.

In theory, the end in our story was written
before we had even begun.
Aseh Oct 2013
I can't
Whether to stay
Or to leave you
Bright eyed and naked gleaming faced
And breathless in
The white tiled room
Flueroscent lights burn brighter when
You're bored out of your
******* mind
No regrets
No looking back just turn
And walk away
****** handed
Aghast faced
Shock dismay
I can't be swayed
Either way
I am livestock
Paralyzed and frazzled
In perpetual panic
And no one can save me

I can't
What to do with my eyes
When you streak across linoleum to
Kick over the garbage can
When you tell me I look tired
What can I say?
We line up like soldiers
I tell you things on a post it note
I put my hand on your shoulder
Awkward comfort
Where to draw the line?
I say it'll be ok
Mom and Dad problems are not ours to bear
But I am the adult here
Isn't that insane?

You're only nine and I can still gape into
The blackened flames in your eyes
I cannot let that extinguish
Please my precious babies don't
Give up oh! let me plant the seeds of self worth in your self consciousness
Ah, no
I can't
Walk away

I can't
If it will be today
Or some tomorrow that
I'll just crack up and die
You tell me things will get better
I promise, and so
I swallow my heart and drink the panic back down
Too much to feel too much to regurgitate

I teach.
Aseh Dec 2014
You decide if time goes forward or backward,
whether the earth begins here or ends, say, right over there.
You name things into Reality.
Bones, flesh, skin.
These are concepts, works of fictions we tell ourselves in order to feel real, or whole, or assembled.
But we are bags of blood.
Our only reality, our only truth, is feeling.
And feeling too much.
Like how the whites of my eyes are permanently reddened by an invisible fire’s breath:
the glow of your face.
Aseh Jan 2015
that feeling when (your) finger tips clutch (my) bare skin
veiled in casual apathy
we watch the screen in silence
not knowing what to say

i don't know what went on
behind your flickering eyes
as for me, the moment of contact
sent jumpy tingles up my spine

my mind reeled forward
to unspent nights in dance clubs or backyard barbecues;
the way your hands felt in mine when we leaned in
lips still intact--
Aseh Mar 2015
I never recovered when you told me goodbye
I just told myself the person I loved had died
I still think of you when I am alone in my bed
I still drink, eat and smoke things to cloud up my head
My heart still feels too heavy to gaze at your face
That'd take me too deep to an unsettled place
I'm too sore from your grasp to even know how it goes
With someone else, the seed fits but still never grows
I still name you my captor, I'm never quite free
From your desperate ache,
broken ways,
and how somehow
Aseh Oct 2016
One you peered at and collected data on
in the confines of your tantrum
You with your diamond eyes
Looking at me through
a purple looking glass window
haze and wondering
about me
It was a distant curiosity
Detached from itself
and from me and from all the loose
and heavy vessels
that connected us
Aseh Dec 2012
I do not miss the brown faces of sun-dried Marlboro men or the mall, or the
Empty soccer field or those lonely black streets that echoed weary
Footsteps or our faded green awning nor do I miss the smell
Of your fifth floor apartment or how my knees would
Tremble and disintegrate and I do not miss your
Taste anymore or that your lips were large and
Soft and swallowed me because I’ve
Concluded there was no choice but
To leave our pile of muddy
Laundry and bloodstained
Sheets in a dusty barren
Apartment on the lower
East side where
***-filled brains
And metal poles
Aseh Mar 2015
Is a werewolf locked
Inside of a heartbeat drum
A perpetual dance
Of unapologetic freedom
A tribal chant
A lick at your neck
An endless fiesta
Whistling through the window
Fat rolls of color, urging forth
Fires on the roofs
Embers burning bright
No lanes
Speeding and rushing
Murals of eternities painted on the city's cheeks
Abandonment of muscular restraint
Grains of salt on the rim
Limes, avocados, salsa verde, picante, roja
Burns in your esophagus
Corners of the mouth ablaze
***** warm air
Rushing in
Burns your eyes
Peculiar washroom smell
In irrelevant spaces
Plumbing creaks overhead
Christmas lights on terrace tops
Glass eyes seeing all
Swollen night
Bodies in heat and dark, all hands and sweat and breath
Give a hug to a toothless stranger
Who shows his gums as he swings from pole to pole
In front of the grand cathedral
Toll the bell
Fingers dipping in and out of everything
Hot street meat and browned corn
Put a gummy bear on top
Coat yourself in orange powder
Cha chi di dum *** *** ***
Let's go
Aseh Mar 2015
There was a fence, it was
white, it lined the road, the road was
made of stones, the air was
always hot and sticky, holding moisture
the sun felt dry and prickly
on your skin, the grass was stiff and long, like straw, extending
into an invisible backdrop.
The sky was vast, wrapping around the farmlands, the trees,
the quiet grass, the yellow and
white and pink houses with frayed wooden doors. Peach and
violet clouds splayed magnificently
across this sky at sunset like smears of paint. Trucks and cars
bumped down this narrow,
hidden path as the days trickled into
Aseh Jun 2015
A single digital phrase
makes me throb, makes me warm,
the hunger, the thirst, the clawing through
his hair push him against
the door
There was a glistening in the room,
a hard glaze
puncturing every moment
like a swift knife, brute
yet gentle the way
the stinging sharp
cold blade feels
against the seal
Aseh Sep 2013
I am in the throes
of a force beyond
my cognizance though
we haven't known
each other long
me siento que
I've already met you
in a different life

como un destino
binds us together
tan poderoso
these ropes of desire
so raw and primitive
they ache me, like
you felt so
inevitable to me y
a veces it seems
we are only vaguely
aware of what we
surrender to so unquestionably

emociones tan surreales
como sueños
washing over me
gently until they are more
than they were
when they were born
more than dreams
estás fisicamente
taking over me

and yet it does not feel scary ni
como un sacrificio
it does not feel like I am any less
of a Self

for I am más de mi when I'm contigo
I am whole and
I feel Found,
porque me encontraste,
al final
I am home

I wish this
is always what we could be
pero me siento que
fueras tan precioso que
I can't possibly be allowed
to keep you forever

so in preeminent defense I think
no puede ser
this cannot be
so sacred a gift?
not meant for me
Spanglish poem
Aseh Oct 2016
We are renters
Living off leased land
Never land owners
Years of finances poured into revolving doors
and recycled down into intricate designs creeping beyond the
comprehension of the reasonable woman
(or man)

Why do we fear so much the need for one another?
Desperately flattening desire into hardened emotion
We can't even breathe properly anymore
Oozing smoke and conspiracies out of our pores;

anxiety became our lifeblood
Aseh Dec 2012
in a picture trapped at the center of my iris
you are a beautiful cataclysmic disruption,
closer to me, brown eyes
set in a porcelain face
for these feelings cling unto us
like sacred dreams
i know i’m simply me
but please let’s leave
a blackbird will dream
us into life and the sun
will smile hard at us and
our house will be made
of violets
Aseh Nov 2016
I know what I want:

Hands pushing
heartbeats pumping
syllables into temples
leaning in
to your liveliness
hooked on
your sleeping bell,
there we are:

Sitting in a smoky attic
creaking in uncertainty
Teasing out vibrations
invading our airspaces,
I'm explaining to you
the legal differences
Between licensees
And invitees but neither of
Us remember why,
there we are:

Climbing back down to earth
You disappear first:
A wordless fixture cloaked in blackness.
I blindly step forward to follow you
But the wood caves and I come
crashing through
the ceiling

But you
in your magic haze,
Suddenly snapping
forward poised to
Envelop me just
I shatter.

It was dark but I could see you better.

Maybe neither of us are explained away
by stereotypes,
our identities
mired in contradictions
more like intricate mirrors
than we could have ever imagined.

And all
You worried about
Was me
And all
I worried about
Was how
you were going to explain that hole
in the ceiling
to your mom.
Aseh Mar 2015
They said it was a joke
I said it was a violation
Sure, we are mired in contradiction
Draping our bodies in nightshine,
all lit up and spilling ourselves onto the dance floor
in six-inch heels, skin-tight dresses and mocking smiles
We are a fortress of frozen, starry eyes
Do we crave
free drinks or freedom? Yet should
I say no, why
would you make your beefy hands
the instruments
of unchecked desire?
They said it was a joke
I said it was a violation
Aseh Dec 2014
When I think of those nights we spent together,
damp with sweat on your unmade bed,
I shudder in disgust.
You are a stranger to me,
as is the person I was when I was with you.

I’m not sure why you’ve come here.
I am staring at the patterns on the ceiling.
You ask me what I’m looking at.
I feel irrationally angry
and I snap at you to just shut up
because I know you don’t see what I see.

Suddenly I feel heavier.
I turn to face the vents on the wall to my left.
The menacing sharp horizontal lines droop down slightly at both ends.
I don’t like the way they are looking at me.

You are nineteen,
and I am watching you deteriorate.
Your eyes are a shadowed mockery
of themselves.

I tell you,
There is fire in my head.
My hands are turning to ice,
and that pinecone is green and furry.
I think it lives.
But you don't believe me.

And we walk among speeding cars,
trying to figure out how to cross streets and how to
close spaces that never stay glued shut
like silver elevators stuck.

It used to be that your heart
beat so hard against my back
that I couldn’t sleep,
but I didn’t mind.
I liked the way the scruff of your chin felt
against my shoulder blades.

And I’m sorry for all those times I kissed you and never meant it.
And I’m sorry for all those times I did.

So why is my shadow lying there on wet grass
if I’ve already left and gone home?
Aseh Mar 2015
Happiness is not something you seek.
It's not a location or another person.
It's not latent or inactive or waiting for discovery.
It's already there, your invisible garment.
It's a choice you make daily--a perspective
through which you decide to see your life.

Thus happiness is perpetually within reach.
You could be zoneless, drenched in darkness,
hollow-bellied, devoid of material,
the traces of your footsteps long-faded,
and yet,
you could still be
So they say.
Aseh May 2014
Sea drop sea shell eyes
I reckon she's for the taking
Sells her body while it's
Broken open
Aseh Feb 2015
she's not perfection
she's big lips and eyes and sometimes people thin theirs at her in skepticism and dislike because of how she moves and smirks but
she's not perfection
she's awkward inside and self-deprecating
she's always afraid she's not quite right, off-kilter, buried far too deeply in her own misperceptions
she's not clean
she's tried every dangerous experiment offered to her, and
sometimes she feels like she's given too much of herself away,
because she wasn't sure what was important
enough to keep.

she's far from perfection, she's tainted
and she feels
a deeper emptiness than anyone could guess,
even though she will take the time
to heat her hair in perfect curls
and pick out the outfit that fits just right so that no one notices
the hurt inside and if she layers on the makeup to look natural so her eyes don't look so tired, she'll look brighter and smarter and less fazed and then maybe she'll appear to be closer to
the perfection that she's not,
cause she's a wounded deer, vulnerable and broken apart
and longing for the happy family she never had
trying to create her own reality
amongst all this vast and amazing
aren't we all?
Aseh Jan 2013
i am sick, mad, crazy
still in love with you
always thinking about not thinking about you
and whenever you incessantly creep in-
to my thoughts i scold myself
it's too late--
i haven't crossed his mind in ages

and i drive myself to tears at night lying awake,
feeling far too naked next to him
(who i can't stop comparing to you--
how mediocre he seems after you,
how everyone likely will be)
and i suffer in silence
from the dreadful
chill of lingering
a hope
that maybe
you and I
just might...

it's like
how i can't forget
that summer afternoon when we were
sun-drunk and
bleary-eyed in your hammock and you
put your hand on my stomach and said,
one day, we'll have a baby in there
and i was stilled; i loved so profoundly then
i had thought,
one day
we could be magical

and every part of me hates how cliche this all sounds,
and how our stupid tragedy has turned me into a cliche
but it's true
every single day
my raw hungry love, still alive
looms over me,
plagues me,
decays me,
i try to push it away but
it lingers like a nightmare
that will not go away

i know we exploded, turned to
shattered glass,
smoky ash but
i still yearn to know why
and so every time
someone dies in the newspaper
or i read a line in a book that moves me
or our song
comes on the radio
or someone mentions your name
in passing, with painful casualty
or worse-- nauseating familiarity,
i feel a sharp pang, with every
accidental glimpse of a photograph
i still can't bring myself to throw away,
my heart sinks deeper down
into my stomach
and once more,
i am sure
i will never truly feel again
without you

sometimes i have the urge to stand on a
pedestal somewhere,
high and tall and proud,
in front of a
bustling crowd like
in the movies
and scream to the universe
i would still do anything
to be with you

and wait for you to run so fast towards me that we
crash and then you pull back, hold my face and say
shut up, i had you at hello, or something

i've tried so hard for so long not to feel any of this
to numb the breaking-away pain with
blue, white, green, orange pills and
sweet smoke
i've tried so hard to detach myself from the reality
of our tragedy
to avoid responsibility
for feeling anything at all

but my new year's resolution is to be clean
so now i am finally letting myself
from my mind through
my cold meaningless fingertips
all the hurt

now i know
the darkest face of sadness
is regret

and i want you to know
that even though i pretended not to,
i heard you and
i'm trying to change
and that i hope one day you will actually
forgive me
for doing that awful thing i did to you
last spring
and that
i'm scared i will love you forever

but if there is a chance
you feel something too,
why have we wasted
so much time
not together?
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