Ashley Naftule


Our tongues strike rich veins,
filling our mouths with
bubbling gold
after the permafrost that coats our bodies
melts away.
I flow across your room—
all salt and acid.
Little flecks of gold and candle-fat 
forming islands
on your faux-cherry wood floorboards.
My jaw vibrates 
like an engine,
the nerves in my gums
fire and combust.
The sun has stripped you bare,
I hear you sizzling in the shower,
trying to scrub away the forest fires 
that cling to you
like the memory of that time you told someone you loved them
and they just looked up and away 
at the sun and muttered
“Was it always this bright?”
to themselves
and there wasn’t an inch of shade left on Earth
for you to hide inside.

Ashley Naftule is a writer and theater artist from Phoenix, AZ. He's been published in PitchforkViceRinky Dink PressNice CageGhost City Review,Moonchild MagazineBandcampOcculumCleveland Review of BooksFour Chambers PressL'Ephemere ReviewAmethyst ReviewHypnopomp,X-R-A-Y LitEllipsisThe Molotov CocktailGUESTPretty Cool Poetry Thing, and Jenny Magazine. He's a resident playwright and Artistic Director at Space55 theatre.