lost days
by Madeline Ragsdale

Runestone, volume 8

burble in the half
dark, and whatever wrong words
we hear mutating

unlock the front door
and rest in gray haze, shifting
i heard your bones creak

little ugly thing
what will you wear tomorrow?
a fur coat, and smoke

smelling of summer
2 years ago, red slushees
mouth aching, teeth red

and in the bathroom
beth says god will protect her
i whisper: “stay safe”

we took our angel
wings off the hook on the wall
our tattered feathers

knit into our backs
muscle spreading to muscle
winged women drinking

cups full of gin and
a chemical taste dripping
dry mouth and a twitch

hem of my skirt drags
over street ephemera
down the subway steps

into maw of dirt
death on the tracks, now boarding
market-frankfort line

i speed into dark
murkiness of long tunnels
shifting with the weight

of the number 10
i vibrate and buzz, buzz
my organs, quaking

she is dreaming deep
our lady under the ground
of ancient subways

in her deep tunnels
rumbling through each hallway
of dirt and of earth

she whispers to me
while i am under soil
in those downstairs bars

two dollar budlights
in those dank fuzzy basements
pulsing with our blood

he breathes in raspy
heavy metal blooms, downstairs
walls thick with fruit flies

they came in the night
suddenly here, suddenly
seething and swarming

dizzy blue bodies
we kill them each one by one
drowned in sweet liquid

gurgling rat speech
sidewalk says jesus is lord
i break my new shoes

I am queen of the
grinding teeth, yellow smile
peeling back my lips

I don’t floss I just
brush my teeth til they’re bloody
red water down the drain

and inside my dreams
my teeth slip from their sockets
and clink in the sink

awake all night long
all teeming in the trees
all shivering slow

in the blurriness
his elbow on my hipbone
rough scratch of stubble

we quake until dawn
and watch the sun rise over

king of the ghost cats
harvey followed maude back home
dead now, in her arms

our mouths full of smoke
and budweiser and tonic
kiss three times then leave

clouds of you pass by
exhalations of cologne
move through me, I ache

matt and I shedding
long red hair around the house
roll us up in clumps

slid under carpets
so that fragments of ourselves
might be left behind

to haunt who ever
walked these walls before we did
old houses, new ghosts

hanging in the way
i shift, half glow, in ana’s
fairy lit backyard
boys and their beer cans
hey can you bum me a cig?
i feign ignorance

i am not with them
shapeshifting as monsters do
they are not with me

all day long i float
invisible girl, all caught
in light, in shadow

in the bathroom’s filth
all the girls started crying
cheekbones tracked with black

lucy’s pupils huge
sooty lashlined and darting
she holds my hand tight

greasy hair in braids
i live inside my stomach
and grumble all day

at 11:11
yellow lights glow on the stove
whisper, “make a wish”

i ask for an end
to the eternal hazes
i float inside of

a world encased in
a shimmering fluid filled
amniotic sac

pennies on my eyes
always, always i make the
same wish every time


Growing Apprehension by Alexis Carter

Madeline Ragsdale

Temple University

Madeline Ragsdale is a senior English major with a focus in creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This