Ashley Farmer

Every Kiss a War Cover Kissing Booth

From Down There the Whole

By Ashley Farmer

And so it sounded like all of that hard rain
that had been falling and falling before
it had gotten cold enough to turn to snow.
Only sidewalk
and winter grass and passing, walking feet of people
whose faces we couldn’t see.
The four of us went outside,
lit them in the smoke-orange dusk.
All I could do was sit there. Think about
the door behind us.

And listen. There’s a slap of darkness.
I am always putting my ear down to the railroad tracks,
waiting for the distant,
low rattle and rumble of something coming to heal me.
Like glitter or ash. Like light.
I write sometimes we both fight in wars
in cherry blossom-pink lipstick, wine-breath-whisper it
into his ear while he’s sleeping.
I’m buzzing
and flickering, white-hot.
I can feel everyone stretching, reaching out for me:
Come on. We’re okay. We are.

And what matters is that the moon
is chasing us all.
From Oklahoma to New Mexico,
you let the windows down and try like hell
to think about nothing but God. How sometimes
your body couldn’t tell the difference between
not loving someone enough
or loving someone too much. It feels good,
it stings.

*This poem is comprised of last lines from stories in Every Kiss a War.

Ashley Farmer is the author of the chapbook Farm Town (Rust Belt Bindery, 2012) and the collection Beside Myself (PANK/Tiny Hardcore Press, 2014). An editor for Juked, she writes and teaches in Southern California. Come say hello at