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pretty places

by Anastasia Levant

god, what a pretty place,

  spoiled, by the smoke

  leaked out of the corner

  of your mouth; oh what a waste -

  land dry like a crinkled leaf

  the sun sweats down my spine

  and in between your fingers,


  [i didn’t tell you, but i burnt my tongue

  sipping the chemicals you would guzzle]

  when we sat on the empty playground

  and the dusk pressed over our heads -

  [one night we lit a paper cup on fire

  just to watch how high the flame climbed]

  i remember the flash of your teeth

  in the half-light, that night

  i wasn’t sure i could stomach

  more smoke. 


  and in between my sheets,

  before the sun rose,

  you almost looked like a flower;

  your face half-turned away,

  petals slowly dying,

  curling in on itself.

  the growing orange glow

  left us half in our own shadows.


  it’s such a pretty place

  spoiled, by midnights: 

  orange clouds outside

  my open window, my eyes burned, 

  closed against the light from the hall [you left on].


  [red-rimmed, it stings

  the way i would sit on the crisp grass

  and pull petals off all the flowers

  with a stone face]


it was a pretty place.

  spoiled, now, scattered with your cigarette ends;

  i pull dried petals out of my pocket,

  and let the wind take them, adrift in the half light,

  i didn’t look for you,

  i’m just passing through. 

About the Author

Anastasia Levant is a 22 year old student working towards a BA in English. She has loved writing from a young age and wants to pursue a career as a writer.

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