The Bed Empty; the Floor Waxed with Moonlight | Ariana D. Den Bleyker

He leans into the girl on the right, smile tucked in
between the words of his angled jaw & I imagine
writing his introduction, his lips moving, me mis-
speaking his name. That I could lay my arms down
beneath him praying not to be christened & he’d
never speak of this. I cannot see anymore.
That I’m the things he’s forgotten, the disbelief
in God, in scars. That our mouths are filled
with permanence, heavy with moisture, weighted
down, wet & wayward. How quickly love ripens
then grieves. I want to be the space between
sunset & sunrise, a place where sleep wraps
itself around curves of bone & sinew, the sharp
of it handing my heart to me, reddened with teeth-
marks, drained, willing to make whole the desperate
parts. That I’ll keep what’s decent, won’t dance,
sing with the crowd, feel the music open my ears.

Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in Upstate New York, a wife, mother of two, a writer and an editor. When she’s not editing or writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of several poetry chapbooks and collections, most recently Wayward Lines (RAWaRT Press, 2015) and Strangest Sea (Porkbelly Press, 2015). Ariana is the Founder and Publisher of ELJ Publications, LLC, a small press specializing in the author, featuring Amethyst Arsenic, Emerge Literary Journal, and scissors & spackle. She can be found at


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