Memoir Poem, Poetry

Eau de Summer Camp (poem)

The base note has something to do with
sunscreen—a fair haired girl’s
most important piece of camping gear
next to bug spray
which is the sharp second layer of the scent.
The whiff of stiff, chlorinated towels,
unwashed and hot from the top
of the waist-high chain link fence
they were draped over to dry
completes the first perfumer’s chord.

For nuance, a drop of happy sweat
from happy children come to wash
their hands and faces with pink powdered soap
from lime green metal dispensers
hung over shabby sinks
on which daddy long legs perch
each rolling their eight dull eyes
at the rush and frivolity of the new generation.

-M. Ashley

Misc Poetry, NaPoMo, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

NaPoWriMo: We Prostitutes

We don’t look down on
each other here. This one forced
this one willing, this one forced
by force, this one forced by
circumstances, this one forced

and not knowing it, thinking that she,
in her non-stripper shoes, in control of
the chess board, receiving presents
is above it.

We all cry into the same
sweaty pillows.

-M. Ashley

Humor Poem, NaPoMo, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

NaPoWriMo: We Talked a Lot of Shit When I Worked at WalMart

Where we gassed and gabbed
we ground our cigarettes out

on the concrete window ledge
in front of the bustling store—

in front of our managers, what
kind of fuck did we give? Our

feet and backs were killing us and
somebody pissed in the fitting room

again. Someone left a dirty diaper
open in a shopping cart. Literal

shit. You customers deserved
every dirty thing we said.

-M. Ashley

Humor Poem, NaPoMo, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

NaPoWriMo: Controlled Substances

My pharmacist’s assistant boyfriend
gained weight.
It brings us closer as our fingers
touch over the Hydrocodone
and our wrinkles show
and our noses shine
under the fluorescent lights.

I say in a low voice
“You know they’re for my mother.”

He leans forward and says
so gently
“I know. I remember you.”

I tell him they’re for my mother every time
to prompt his sweet nothing.
I am unashamed. I flounce
out of the pharmacy with my narcotics
swinging my hips.

-M. Ashley

Misc Poetry, NaPoMo, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

NaPoWriMo: I Am an Albino

Unrequited lover of the light
Longing for west and east facing
Curtain-less windows wide open

But built to be shy of the light
Take it all in unrestricted
Get sick from it

My skin cancers
I faint
My iris-less eyes
Twitch in pain

God comforted me once
He said, “Perhaps the light
Is maladapted—not you
Nor your love of it.”

-M. Ashley