how to have sex with a ghost – revised

The Sounds Inside

Black crocuses
for a white flag,
tonight we bring the dead
back to life,
the banshees and
saints, absorbed by
their violence,
cultivated by centuries
of silence, I am not
done with you yet,
forgive me,

Don’t lead the horse to the water,
if you are not ready
to drown it,
it should have been us,
that night,

oh fury,
how I want you,

In that confined mess of a
misinformed orgy of bodies
and scripts and curtains
closing, lights blazing,
singing about pockets
overflowing with
wildflowers to
ward off the plague,
there’s a hairline fracture
in every syllable,
in every melody, in every
right hook of
as we beg those ghosts
for closure.

Spilling out tooth and
nail on hardwood foundations,
rosewood necks and
steel ropes, we obsess
over lines in the sutures,
and it makes me feel

that rupture split
and I’m gagging, and…

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Hangover (revisited)

Brave & Reckless

I wake in a nest of pillows and blankets that smell of fresh straw and heather, blood and sex.  Way too much light is coming in for this to be my city apartment with its shades and heavy curtains. I must be in my crash pad, the shell of a crumbling building a couple miles off the highway. My head aches, my mouth is dry and I don’t remember coming back here last night. If I am completely honest, I don’t remember much at all of last night. What little I can recall is a kaleidoscope of impressions: a biker bar, the smell of leather and smoke, the taste of smooth whiskey. Raucous laughter, loud music.  The pile of cash spilling out of the pocket of my discarded jeans makes me think I must have had a good night at the pool table.

I untangle myself from the blankets, stand on…

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A DECADE OF SOLITUDE-Rana Kelly/ 2nd star to the Left, straight on ’til morning

A Global Divergent Literary Collective

Almost a decade

Of desolation and disguise.

Of loneliness and downcast eyes.

My spine was pulled

Out of my mad mouth

And I laid there breathless

For this eternity.

Fear of the enemy

Pushed me to soliloquy

For an eternity

Of my wolves hunted

And fresh hell.

I walk forward over water

Washed clean of your sickness

You cannot kick me

In the guts again.

I will rise

And eat your face

Shred your skin

And walk westward

Crushing your setting sun.

[Rana Kelly was born and raised in the Deep South, and now resides in the Southwest.  Her poetry, personal essays, short fiction, and photography has been published in anthologies and literary magazines far and wide over the years, from Caesura to featherproof press, FM to Ceremony Collected. Her first novel, Until Her Darkness Goes, was published in 2015. She’s…

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Romance Bloody Romance

S. K. Nicholas


She dwells at the bottom of the sea. She is an orchid- a vision behind the mirror that itches my teeth and dances under my tongue. She draws the curtains and touches herself as wild horses storm the sidewalk stamping on those who never believed in her love. Fingers sinking in, she leans her head back and listens to the sounds of Magazine as the vinyl spins round like her divided head or perhaps the wheels of a bus that glide down the freeway reeking of marmalade and sexual distortion. Meth. C-c-c-cocaine. Stubbed out cigarettes that point from her body like biblical shards of light. She forgets herself. She cuts to awaken the spirits that haunt her sleep so they may slide out and drift through the window to possess another. Tingling toes. Flower tattoos that wrap around her arms before spreading up the walls and across the floral carpet. There…

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The Sounds Inside

I asked
‘what could possibly make it worth it’
She replied
‘It’s love’
Was it out of love that he disappeared
Fell off the earth for three days into the arms of
the witch at the corner of the woods
or when he stole that car
Drove through the night and ploughed it
through the railing and off the bridge
Do you laugh about that in time?
Does that become an amusing dinner time story?
Along with the stories of how he would
come back with a belt wrapped around his wrist
ready to feel a sense of purpose
the designated family martyr
would step up to her father
and feel the wrath
night after night
She still shudders when she’s touched.
Do you tell visitors
About your new beginning celebrations
When he went on a rampage
He smashed all of your possessions
And closed his hands around your…

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Max or Not

massive ball of chained steel
poised to impose its will upon me
perched beyond the nexus shadow
aimed to strike my solar plexus

on the drop of a doorstop dime
triggered by a thoughtless notion
it drops
piercing the air like a sonic flare
barreling down the arced pathway
faster than my thought can bear to answer its undoing

and in one searing soul-crush instant
it collides with my feeble world
shattering all preconceptions
every trenchant dissociation
dispersed into a worthless pile
of infantile abandon

til all that’s left behind
is the broken child
hiding from the hideous truth
writhing in a fetal coil of feces

the blunder was to not abort
now torn asunder
plunderous distortion

but none should be so fortunate
as fervid fiends must fuck fuck fuck

fuck without a second thought
fuck until the seed is shed
what breathes alone crawls from the bed

forethought flippantly…

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