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Ash B Crowley Jan 2021
i know you

i’ve seen every little fragmented shard of your soul
every twinkling fairy light
every aching bruise
i’ve lifted every flap and gazed through every hotel door peekhole
searched under every rug and felt the bottom of every drawer
reached under the bed and the dark spaces between the couch cushions
i’ve coaxed out every skittish secret
and laid them all out in the yard

i sorted them into piles: keep, consider, throw away
i decided the same way you collect sea glass at the shore
some choices were smooth and certain
they had wave caressed edges you can run the pads of your fingers over
and the sunlight filtered through, green and foggy and calm
some decisions needed thought and careful hands
wondering if the edges were still yet too fresh and eager to slice
only half formed and not quite ready to be parted from the gentle lull of the sea
the rest were bottles being shattered as i considered them
still tainted with the overflowing emotion that splintered the glass
these pieces i picked up, and tossed into the sea
whistling through the air and landing with hardly a splash
disappearing far too innocently
sinking oh so sweetly

one day those shards will come tumbling back up your shores of thought
i will pick them up once more
and toss them back
over and
over and
over and
over again
until they’re butter soft
and your skin no longer breaks at contact

this is how i will learn to love every atom of my self
 all of my silk and sandpaper pieces
until all the secret notes stuffed into the bottles of my being
are love letters to myself
and the broken glass glittering along the beach
shines like stars
love letter to myself
Ash B Crowley Mar 2020
The wiring is sparking, fizzing
Insulators worn away, metal exposed
Screws and bolts coming lose
Shaking apart
Everything coming unhinged
Joints stiff, scraping, creaking
No oil left
Lights winking out, blinking on and off
It’s all falling apart

Stitches pulling out
Fabric fraying
Stuffing spilling out of gaping holes
Threads splitting and coming undone
Losing buttons, no spares
Tears, rips, bursting seams
Loose string getting caught
Everything unraveling
It’s all falling apart

Cracks across the surface
Slowly crumbling
Turning into dust
Chipping, chipping, chipping
Paint peeling
Color long faded away
No glue can put it back together
Shattering, pieces breaking off
It’s all falling apart
Ash B Crowley Mar 2020
don’t say sorry, I want to tell her

do what you like, I would say to her

you’re perfect, I'd confess to her

take all the time you want and never feel bad about it, never apologize for the way you exist, especially the way you do it, which is so breathtaking I feel I might fall through the floor because I am standing on clouds

is what I wish I could say to her

watching you adore the world is stunning enough for me to spend my whole life doing it
I could gaze at you gazing forever and never be satisfied that I had seen enough
don't regret all the seconds you spent simply looking, listening, and breathing in all the beauty you could find
I do the same, and it is the reason I look at you so often
Ash B Crowley Mar 2020
It’s just a dull ache now
A sort of thrumming presence, constant
A heaviness I’ve grown accustomed to carrying around
But I remember how it felt when the weight was first dropped on my chest
And the pain was so raw
My whole body screamed at me
And I thought for so long that I was really going to die without you
I thought my heart was going to claw its way out of my chest
There’s still a gap in me, in my life
A hole
A void
That, I have not grown used to
I can feel that lack of you every day
But I know that the knife in my chest will grow blunt with time
And someone will arrive someday to fill the void
That space that I hadn’t known was empty until you melted into it
And at least the ache of your absence
Reveals that I, too, am capable of loving and being loved equally in return
Ash B Crowley Mar 2020
The gardens of Eden have found a place on earth in the forests of Washington
Moss drips from every bough
Blooms do not falter at the creep of February
The earth is rich and wet with the nectar of life
The Emerald City shines with envy at the lush hues in this wilderness
Ash B Crowley Mar 2020
My world is filled with color.
    Shades, hues, tints, tones.
    I love color, and the way it breathes life into an empty space.
A step into my closet exposes a bright and varied wardrobe. Coming out of the closet left rainbow flags plastered on my walls. Markers, paints, pencils, ink, and crayons spill out of my drawers onto coloring pages and notebooks.
    My most magnificent canvas is my life, growing more intricate and exciting each day. Every color visible to the human eye, I spread across this great expanse I have been given. And it is vibrant and radiant and brilliant.
    Every color is here for different reasons, at different times, in different ways. Sometimes they get splattered on, sometimes finger painted, sometimes drawn on carefully. And they all have meaning.

Red was my least favorite color growing up. Red is boldness, courage, passion. I didn’t have that as a kid. It wasn’t until I learned what it meant to fight and to survive and to believe in myself that started to enjoy wearing red. Now, most of my favorite clothes are red. They are the clothes I wear when I am bursting with confidence.

I have a lot of orange in my life. Orange is creativity and adventure. That’s where I find my happiness. Where I’m in my prime. I have always been artistic, I have always been an explorer. I could bathe in orange.

Everyone wants to have lots of yellow on their canvas. Positivity, optimism, hope. There’s been times when my yellow has dimmed. I would dip my paintbrush into the can and it would come up clean. Digging through cabinets, shaking bottles, looking for those last drops of paint. Then I learned how to save up to buy a new can.

Green is for growth. Green is for harmony. I work toward green every day. I will always be growing. I will always be searching inside myself. My green is not constant. It’s a new shade each second I breathe. Pine green, acid green, emerald green.

Sometimes blue scares me. I can’t always hold all the responsibility that’s been placed on my shoulders. I can’t always open myself up enough to trust others. I fear honesty will expose all of my failures. But I breathe in, and I breathe out. Blue is calm too. Sometimes you need a wave of blue to wash everything else away.

Despite being my favorite color, my life lacks in purple. I have never sought power nor claimed to be wise. But I do like to believe my life has a little bit of magic. Maybe some mystery. I hope life will always keep me on my toes.

I believe not in having a perfect life, but a life worth living. A life that always varies, through turns of joy, despair, relief, disgust, and rage. A multicolor life.
Ash B Crowley Feb 2020
What have I done?

I ****** up bad. I ****** up so bad.

I did something unbelievable. I'm not sure if I was supposed to do it.

And I don't know why it happened. I can't believe it happened. I just know it's bad.

So so bad.


I think I might be in love.

Like I said, bad.


I'm not sure when it started.

Maybe it's been like this since that day we first intertwined hands, and you made me into something I had never been. You made me yours.

Maybe it was just at this moment.

Maybe it's been every single day from the first time I laid eyes on you, you beautiful, beautiful person.


I'm terrified.

So scared.

Scared because I might be too young.

Scared because others might not approve.

Scared because you might not feel the same way.

We only like each other. Not love. It hasn't ever been love. No one imagined love. Not until now.

Not until me.


I've never been like this before.

These emotions flow.

They flow the way a storm rocks the entire ocean, the way waves crash against a boat and smash until there’s nothing but driftwood, the way a tsunami rips apart a city and washes it clean leaving the people frightened and forced to start anew.

They do not flow.

They come strong, sudden, beating against my chest, pushing up my throat, clawing their way onto the tip of my tongue, a second away from rolling off into the world before my teeth clamp down, pressing them back down into the dark crevices of my heart.


My heart.

Not yet broken. Not yet whole.

In between. Struggling. Searching for the part that perfects its ever-pumping machine, but when it finds it, it wants to shut down, because how can you tell someone they are the thing necessary for a heart to truly live and thrive, for life to bloom and color, for dreams to waterfall into reality, and expect them to say it back?

That part is essential. But maybe not ready. Not ready to be a part of a bigger ensemble. So the heart survives anyway.

And it despairs.


First love.

This is something that cannot be erased. Ignored. Forgotten.

Like the stars.

They paint a picture, a canvas the size of the universe, trying to encapsulate a feeling larger than life itself and everything that exists into two words.

First love.

It's something you do not want to let go of.

Like a blanket.

A childhood teddy, a token of youth and beginnings that you carry with you in every place you visit, it is like a limb, the thought of separation is unfathomable but someday, it is gone, it will leave, because it is no longer the thing you need most.

But like stars and blankets, when elsewhere, it is missed.



Fear and love. Never far apart.

Fear of gaining love.

Fear of having love.

Fear of losing love.

Fear of love.

Love is everything. It is what motivates. Every. Single. Person. And every action. The little ones and the big ones. Every act of every level of importance is fueled by love. Love is the founder of war. Love is the mother and father of death. Love is the force of destruction.

Love is ruthlessly sought after by all.

That is why it is feared.

That is why it is loved.


But for there to be destruction, there must first be creation.

A gentle bud, pushed through soft earth.

A spark between two rocks, sudden, shocking, and gone.

The first breath of a tiny being, still pink with newness, living only on warmth and wonder.

We **** for love. But we live for it too.

And that is so much harder, but so much more worth it.

Love is worth every price you could pay. And yet it can never be bought.

It is simply created.

Often accidentally.

Not always conveniently.

But always important. A new stitch in this fabric that has been unfolding since the first second of time.

Whether a love is screamed into the tense air between two charging armies, or is never more than a whisper in the back of a mind, it is important.


My love.

In one word: painful.

I cannot cope with this. I was not prepared to manage this sentiment. It is exhausting and inconvenient. I do not know how to handle this emotion.

I do not think anyone is supposed to know how to deal with love.

We must be ****** into it. Use our instinct. Learn on the job.

There is no guide or manual. No one can teach you. They can explain what love is and they can give love to you, but they cannot tell you what it is to give love away.


My lover.

My roots. My stem. My core.

They are the inventor of light.

My dark sky was only dotted with little stars before they came. They surprised the world, my world, as they burst into brilliance, into glory. A sun. A sun to illuminate and warm a small planet. Special, and just a bit more important than the other stars. Because this one is radiant. Scintillating.

And chill.

They are smooth and cool. A calm. The centre of the hurricane. Untouchable by the rage and chaos that bubbles beneath my skin. Instead they cleanse it from my body while attaching an anchor to my heart. When the storm arrives once again and the ocean chews and swallows me like a monster made of liquid fear, I survive, because even though the anchor drowns me it also saves me. Saves me from floating off into an endless void of heart shards and loneliness.

They are the grass, still wet from the rain, between my toes.

The sand that scorches my soles, forcing light, quick steps.

Snow numbing my nerves as I run shrieking back to the friends who dared me into this freezing adventure.

But most importantly, love is a warm rush, like the sun is in my stomach, and a furnace is in my chest, and there is nothing I can do to tamper it. It will always be etched into my bones, long after they have washed up bleached on the shore. A fond scar on my heart, for this love, and the next one, and every love I will ever fall into. They mark us, leave something in is, shift our inner mechanisms and cannot be undone. We carry our loves with us forever, and remember them once in a while with a soft smirk, a dull ache, a bitter tear, or a wistful smile.

I will keep my love for you in me until the stars have all burst, and the void is everything, and existence ceases to exist.

And I can only sit here and hope that you will do the same.
So this is actually an interesting piece for me because I wrote most of it at a time when I thought I was in love for the first time but actually wasn’t, and I went back and finished after I finally did have my first love. The whole thing really tracks my growth through this crazy emotion. Also the style probably changed partway through so sorry for that!
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