Friday, March 30, 2007


Monsoons come early this year. We witness them sailing across the desert from miles out, dark thunderheads billow with hidden destruction, perfect lightening bolts strike the ground like the hand of Zeus. Shameless, the rain soaks the dry, cracked earth baked hard by a long summer. It feels like sandpaper, looks of Spanish tile. The gulches and washes fill with raging, muddy waters, debris splinters the banks, decimating the land before our hungry eyes. We wait eager for the rains to steal away so we could take the horses out, run them like bullet trains on fresh mud, breathe deep the scent of wet sagebrush and yellow bells. Our bodies mold to the horses riding bareback in the aftermath with greedy grins on our faces. pushing them to their limit, pushing our own limits not only racing each other but the next storm on the horizon. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Hecale 7/07


I come from the East, all things West new to me, weather, scenery and the people all strange and beautiful. Ishmael is the most beautiful of all. He sits behind me in the 4th grade, the force of his breath moves my hair, and I have to control myself to keep from turning in my chair to look at him, my body electric just to be near to him. His skin is dark from sun, from ancestry and his black hair glints in the hot light of day. Most of all, I like his smile the two silver front teeth captivate me entirely. He and his friends pick on me at recess daily, they call me ”Toro” when I run down the grass bank after them, chasing them, doing embarrassing things to gain Ishmael’s attention, his affection, to think for one moment I am liked by them, but all I really get is a reputation as a loco white girl. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Flutter 3/07


I awoke to the sound of gasping, and in my naïve mind, I imagined I was dreaming of running out of breath, I told myself to go back to sleep, but then there was frantic pounding on the frail, paneled walls of the trailer, that kept time with the gasping. I slid from beneath my covers, the carpet worn and cool under my bare toes. My head poked through the doorway in quiet anticipation of ghouls. The narrow hallway dark except for the dusky, yellow light of the bathroom, and in it the shadow of my mother, naked and swollen with pregnancy. Her arms on either wall with palms pressed flat and tense, head hanging down in some strange simulation of crucifixion. My breath sucked in loudly, and she raised her head, quickly drawing her hands around her neck to show me she was choking. I ran past her in my nightgown like a shot of light to wake my stepfather. Without hesitation, he grabbed her from behind, trying to find a way around her massive stomach, and then with a thrust a hard candy projected from her, making a plunking sound on the wall, and soon thereafter came my brother. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote In My Coffee #80


Summer mornings found me on horseback with the gentle rocking of my animal’s gait making my life feel less like a supplication. I walked him past the pecan groves that stretched a seemingly endless mile. Cool air emanated from the corridors of perfectly aligned trees. A dense fog hung tensely, moisture plumed from the ground; The night’s watering not yet fully evaporated. A bitter smell like pitch pine rose to meet me as the horse’s hooves crushed the thick green hulls of nuts that had fallen from the trees, shaken loose during midnight thievery. I soaked this in, the pungency, the moisture, the solitude, the abbreviated notion of living in the moment, not thinking about my life or the life of my elders, letting it all exist, this intermingling of freedom and passivity before the harshness of the sun could burn it away. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007


The cat is curled up into the crook of my writing arm, his breathing a delicate purr. He still hasn’t found the bravado of his voice. The rise and fall of his body slowly tries to lull me to sleep with the pen in my hand. Through the window, lying in the dying light of a gray afternoon, I see the beginnings of buds on trees pushing their way from the core. Squirrels are dancing, leaping branch to branch, tails high in the air, chattering loudly and twitching like old men with Tourette’s in attempts to start the mating season early. The sounds of my family spread out in separate rooms, the bleeping of video games and the turning of pages with a soft voice telling a story of her own, brings a smile. Each taking a comfort in the time spent alone with themselves tells me, solidly, without spoken words that we have found some peace in this world. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by The Beatnik 2/08

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Into the Crypt"

The death of my grandfather mustered from my mother the hunger for religion which she had not needed in over twelve years. It was springtime, and all the things I had always loved about it were at risk for being dampened as if this event could make it slink back into winter. We drove to the monastery on the hill with me slumped in the backseat, face below the rise of the window watching clouds impregnate the darkening sky. Tiny pebbles pinched between tire and road made a solemn pinging noise, and I could see the dust upsurge then float away like our meager existence in time. When the car stopped, I stepped from its’ safety, embarrassed by my mother’s religious hypocrisy, and her sudden desires for atonement. My hands wrapped around the braided brass handles of the thick, heavy pine doors to the chapel of the monks. We sat in the white-walled chapel as they filed in, silent and solitary. The smell of incense burning, and the timber of their voices haunted me as they sang Vespers. I wanted to cry. I swallowed back the saltiness of my tears as a sign of solidarity to my mother in her grief for a father whose lividity stifled and squandered her. We descended to the darkness of the crypt of the Blessed Mother, and lit the candle of remembrance. She knelt onto the velvet pew with the illumination of her sorrow neatly shining on her cheeks. I knelt beside her, my arm wrapped tightly around her shuddering shoulders. I let my heart spill witnessing this vulnerability and the lifetime of emptiness that would plague her. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by The Cerebral Catalyst 1/07


Insomnia grips me again tonight, and I feel my feet restless and moving beneath me, leading me into the dark summer night, onto these city streets in search of the talisman of slumber. I slink around these neighborhoods like a shadow. I know them so well, know their unmarked boundaries like my own face; Know them so well that I can straddle them, and have my ass in two places at once. This is the shit that keeps me awake. My brain firing constantly with senseless chatter. This night, I find myself in Fremont under the highway with a concrete troll. His hubcap of an eye glinting in the sideways light of the lamppost. I am frozen in front of it in some strange fear. It creeps me out in the darkness with my brain spent, and my vision blurry with ataxic movements. I’m seeing shit that isn’t there, and the din of the highway above my head is deafening, and vibrates my body Like a lullaby. It makes me want to lay face down on the pavement and sleep like a bum, but I am stabbed with the sound of screeching tires and voices, the thud of a body being dumped to the street, the dull thumping of heavy shoes crushing ribs and flesh. My fear slides me behind the pylon that holds up the highway, I’m afraid to look at the body in the road, afraid of my cowardice, afraid of seeing myself, but I look anyway, because insomnia says I can. He is there in the road, His shirt a white glowing light on the blacktop. I close my eyes and breathe And he is gone. I walk to where he was beaten like a dog to find a small pool of sticky blood, and I feel crazy at this moment, crazy enough to go to sleep. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #72


Examining my womanhood, breasts hanging in total irreverence to time or gravity, looking related not quite twins but sisters. One rounded, stretched, nipple flat without the enticement to rise, the other smaller less robust, more attentive, more apt to stand at attention when touched for she is the prettier sister graced with more affections. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"The Quickness"

I can’t seem to get used to the sound, the feeling of ribs cracking under the pressure of my hands, and the solemn idea that the force of my body that I put forth to heal, can cut to the quick and destroy as easily as it can save. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"Metered Time"

Light reflects through each track of condensation rolling down the windowpane. A green steeple illuminated on the horizon, white doves flying across in stilted time, slow moving orbs heading into morning clouds, wings flapping in metered time. This menagerie a dream I can’t have. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Staring at the Bay"

Old man sits on the bus, switching seats to monopolize the view, his back turned on the open road watching the shipyards fade into the distance. His face suddenly remorseful as if he has lost some sweet love to the ocean. Old lady sits in her window as the bus passes by, her pale pink sweater mirroring the sunset while she gently runs her fingertips over the porcelain cats on the sill. She has the same sad look staring out above the shipyards. My heart tells me she has lost this old man on the bus. My heart tells me he has lost this old lady in the window, and all they can do is look to the ocean to find each other. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Skeletal Hand"

Naked, white birches scattered among the turning maples like the crooked, skeletal hand of an octogenarian. The heavens are a slab of muted slate that hovers over my head with a sad, glaring oppression tearing into the flesh. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


The hills are set in rust like a great iron sheeting accosted by winter’s reign. The trees don’t look alive, but like two-dimensional tuffs in a Bob Ross painting. I can’t stop thinking about happy little trees. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


Noise from your mouth drifts into my airspace like shards of glass. I cannot find the words to tell you the truth. You like it like that, you and me alone with your face like a mirror forcing me to watch my own internal suffering. You exist in your selfish, cap-sized world locked in the basement un-evolved, yet judgmental of me. You smile The pain settles like fallout on my face, smudged and dirty, twisting in the wind. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

Monday, March 19, 2007


Parked in front of the KFC drive-thru speaker, a toothless woman is hanging out the open window of a rusty blue Chevy truck, with arms flexed, and crossed over the door tightly as if she feared falling the two feet towards the ground. Her right hand cradles her cigarette like a lover as she drags its’ breath hard, and long enough to cave her cheeks inward to meet each other over tongue and under palate, while cutting off the smoke so it slips weakly from the corners of her mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Haggard and Halloo 1/07


My feet instinctively follow the path to his room. In darkness, flesh is bared tentatively, anticipating the burn of his fingertips on my skin. I want him to take me, then take me again. I want to inhale him, to devour him, to swim in the waters of his passion under the haze of this smoke screen as his mouth tastes the salt of my skin. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

I lay here near breathless from the pneumonia that has filled my lungs with pus and fluid from the whisper of bird flu. A bead of sweat trickles arduously slow down the center of my brow, but my body so weak I cannot even raise a hand to wipe it clean. I feel my heart race faster, and I have long since lost the clear definition between being awake and being asleep to know if this is all true. I find myself in my hospital gown, in the center of the street, surrounded by an army of people in surgical masks, with dead chickens in arms extended. They come at me with great, grave purpose, all arms stretched in my direction. I cannot see their mouths, yet I know the devil is stuck between their teeth. I stand there paralyzed in fear and weakness, and think it an awful shame that this is the last thing I will see before I die. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by The Cerebral Catalyst 11/06


We sat across from one another in the lush grass of summer, our legs folded Indian style with knees so close I could feel the heat of your skin. You talked into the shadows with your face barely visible and you voice trailing in the air, delicate and tenuous still like a spider web. I wanted to reach out to you to cradle your face in my hands, to touch your lips with my fingertips. I am enraptured by the sound of your voice, bending my will with the ideas of consequence, and fulfilled destiny. Each word implying our meeting was not born of circumstance, or of chance, but planned on a higher level, And though our paths have crossed we remain bound to different directions. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Lunatic Chameleon 2006

"Abbreviated Sleep"

Somehow, like a spent up crack whore, I woke up instantly at 2 am like I could hear the tinkling of pipes and blowtorches. I woke up like a fetid exhale of toxic smoke, mouth dry and angry unable to get the taste of something awful from my mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #72

"The Park"

A progressive state of inebriation finds me in the park in the dead of night with my back flush against a concrete barrier. My vision muddied so I can barely see your face until you climb over me to kiss my neck. Your black hands run the length of my alabaster thigh as the off-shore wind vaults my skirt to expose me, exciting me. The mere imagining of the contrast of our flesh so tight and close lifts me higher. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #67


I am having an out of body on X at a small party of very pretty people. I feel like an outsider. Faith tells me I remind her of Eve, of beauty, of womanhood. I smile inside myself, because I want it all to be true but I know I am not those things. She looks so genuine with her face like light that I want to believe her. Ambient music is pulsating through me, in me, and I feel the love coming on. I feel the need to be naked and close to anyone. I see Faith on the floor in the center of the room, the bass rippling her creamy flesh and she is gorgeous. I am drawn into her arms like a lost child. I lie beside her in half darkness with my face on her chest. I suckle her like an infant, and it becomes innocent to me. I am transcended into a state of wholeness, feeling a closeness to women that I never have before, closer than I ever felt to my own mother. Then I open my eyes to realize where I am, at a party, in the center of the room, ambient music washing over me, and men staring at me with hunger. My mouth envelops the breast of my friend, and for just one moment I feel like one of the pretty people. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Zygote in My Coffee #67

Saturday, March 17, 2007


It is after work and we smell of hamburgers, of old grease as you back me up in the darkness to the edge of my bed. The shade on the window is only half drawn with rays of street light daggering on the wall. I had wanted you since the day you started, had smiled my best smile, batted my eyelashes, whispered dirty things when our arms crossed over the warming table for a double cheeseburger. But now with you here, in my room, on my bed touching me with a drunken tenderness, I don’t find you as attractive now that the hunt is over; Now that I have slain this dragon. I let you touch me anyway, let you taste my skin, let you slide inside me just for the memory of it as I tilt my head back, and tilt my hips in to collect my reward. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Upcoming Publication in Zygote in My Coffee Print #4

Thursday, March 15, 2007


At the edge of a river shallow and running fast, my desire shining like a beacon on the other side. My crossing is filled with anticipation and laced internal trepidation. Cold water seeps over and under my feet simultaneously with the feel of mercury, levitating me slightly like some cheap magicians’ trick of the eye. My knees collapse, crumpling beneath me, neat and folded like I am a flesh accordion being put away for the night. My body slips beneath a watery sky, to a river bottom vestige. Liquid fingers touch me in places I had not thought of, her nails sinking into me deeply, ripping hope by bounding me. She is drowning me. I hear the warped voices, friends above the surface in the air, sweet wonderful air that my effused lungs may never taste again, for on the day of my birth I am at my death. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"Waged and Won"

In a lucid slumber my breath tightened while winds raged into a crescendo against the house, whistling like a death rattle from the lungs of someone at the end. Fine, coarse snow pelting my window, tiny bullets in my armor, your war against me waged and won. The sun darting through the blinds like a victory banner landing square across my mouth. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Second and Columbia"

A teenage boy a teenage girl on Second and Columbia. She is dressed like summer, he is dressed like fall on this winter day where the sun has poked it’s head through the gray afternoon. Their faces are close in heated conversation, she is flushed with frustration, he is helplessly disinterested in her as their relationship is hashed out on the corner. Aleathia Drehmer 2007


An obese girl floated on her back through placid pool waters, the smell of fresh chlorine cloying as I watched her, wondering why she just didn’t sink from sheer size alone. I continued this vigil, mesmerized as her arms took on unnatural positions above the water line, fingers crooked and dancing like rabid monkeys. In one fluid motion her massive girth rolled like a log on a river. She stopped face down in dead man’s float suddenly calm until her limbs began seizing as if someone carelessly dropped a live toaster in the pool. And still she floated. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"When Innocence Lived"

I am a passenger on the roads of my youth, roads I’ve never driven, but know just the same. Rain smatters against the window, I lean my head in to meet it, letting my mind wander to a time when I felt free to wonder, when innocence still lived inside me, where dreams were started and never ended. Each curve smooth, languid with undetected subtlety. Each straightaway an arrow to the heart of childhood, where good and evil are both secret friends of mine. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"West of Hell"

I packed my backpack with my favorite comics and some leftover crackers from the kitchen cupboard. I hung it on my doorknob waiting for the stillness to fall over the tin can we lived in. Running away seemed so much easier than listening to fighting night after night, the sound of broken glass against paneling becoming the decrescendo to the nights festivities. There is only so much blame that one girl can take for the inadequacies of a marriage. My mother sauntered down the hall drunk and pissed off, noticed the backpack on the door. “Planning on going somewhere?’ she asked me sarcastically. “Would you notice if I did?” I gave back. “You’d never do it for real anyway, I know you,” she said. She turned around to go to bed and the smell of alcohol smacked me square in the face, gave me courage. The trailer went dark and quiet, and I slid into my clothes without noise, lifted my pack without rustling the comics, and I opened the backside door to freedom, to the chill of desert night air, to the hope that I might get somewhere, anywhere, but here. I latched the door behind me and headed west of hell. Without knowing why, I ended up at the old man’s Airstream trailer down the road a ways. I sat on his front porch, the plastic grass causing friction on the ass of my jeans. I felt desperate, exasperated by my life. I rolled up my pack and lay under the desert broom in the yard, knowing all the while that I would go back there, knowing that she did know me that well, not wanting to face the wrath that would now be deserved. Suffering by my own hand seemed better than suffering by the hand of another. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 To be published by Rural Messengers Press 2007


Walking to work in the evening, the blistering humidity lingering with the weight of a millstone fastened snuggly around my neck. Bicycles scattered on lawns like crooked tombstones in a graveyard. No sounds of children on the street, only the noxious humming of air conditioners. Earthworms dried to the concrete in crazy geometric shapes, crunching under my running shoes, pulverizing to dust, corpses in my tread. Sweat trickles down my neck in raging rivulets feeding into one large river that melts at the small of my back. Winter never looked so good. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Poor Mojo's Almanac(k)


Muted flesh tones on a background of lamp lit night, images move slowly dragging, blurred, and pixilated. I am captivated watching your silent contemplation of movement, thumbnail perched on your bottom lip like an accident waiting to happen. The length of your neck bare to the chest, flaunts itself like an invitation to a bloodletting. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Haggard and Halloo 4/07

"Angle of Sadness"

She came in high, with distorted manifestations of physical pain, to get more narcotics. Her small children at her bedside standing there with long faces, stretched old and stoic beyond their years. I could tell from experience, from their angle of sadness that this is their life by proxy. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


Inside your brain lives a tumor that is crushing half of the butterfly nestled in your white matter. The doctor was telling you this as I located your son in the waiting area. He sat there alone, back hunched over with arms resting on his knees. Familiar white strings dangled from his ears, and I saw the iPod cradled in his hands, toes tapping to a beat only he could hear. He tugged the strings from his ears as he saw me come near him, questions written across his innocent forehead about the condition of his dad. He followed me to the darkened room, and all I could bring myself to think about is the last song he listened to before he found out his father would soon die. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Hecale 7/07


I stepped off the bus into the shadiest part of town. You with your flashing perma-grin white against the night, a hint of Cheshire cat layered in your voice as you pulled my hand. I felt loose and ragged, un-cohesive at best as we walked a block I would have never tread in the brightest of lights. You can coax me into doing things I have no courage to do alone. I turned to ask you why the hell we came here but you were gone. I sat on the bench skirting the park, used condoms littered at my feet so I kept my hands in my lap; Hookers hanging in the shadows giving sounds of oral fixations and penetrations. Undetected, you came up behind me grabbed me across the mouth, touching me, laughing in my ear, breathing on my neck, and giving me the answer to my question. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Tight Fist"

I once sat in a triangle of girls at a party full of drunk men. We sat on the bed topless, breasts alive with pleasure lips on mouths lips on nipples hands groping sex. It was heaven until he barged into the room, a furious bull with a face of prime evil. He butted his nose up against mine so close I could almost lick his teeth, so close I could not focus on his features. He stood over me, arm cocked back ready to strike me square in the face if I would give him a reason to do it. He ordered me home with him, "Right now you cunt, you're coming with me". I smiled, scared and excited, still high on ecstasy, telling him no through my teeth. I watched his fury rise up his neck, jugular veins distended, pulsing, hand trembling as he adjusted his fingers for a tighter fist. I laughed in his face, "I'm not a goddamn dog, and I'm not going anywhere with you, you crazy fuck". His arm went into motion and I felt the force of his body as it contacted the left side of my head. I was sober now, too sober to cry too sober to scream, so I sat there stunned and silent. "Bitch" he spat at me as the other drunk guys at the party dragged his ass from the room and dumped him from the balcony to the ground below. I went on kissing lips, kissing nipples hands groping sex. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


She talks to God about not wanting to turn eighty-three. She is at peace with this life she has lived, having been through enough birthdays, anniversaries, and Easters to feel like she has not missed anything. There is a child-like sweetness about her face, with its wrinkles, and soft edges around the curve of her mouth. There still lives a mischievous twinkle in the squint of her blue eyes. The space around her speaks of years of joy, sadness, peace, and the belonging to something greater than I might ever know. It speaks of great loves lost, and a long, life well lived. She leans into me, our shoulders touching gently as I sit on her hospital bed, and tells me with soft voice and ease of mind, that she has asked God for a long nap. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Poor Mojo's Almanac(k)


The air is thick with nightmares, and both of us choking to breathe, hoping to find some freedom in the night with its’ sordid dance between beliefs that makes me push you away too quickly, and pull you back without thinking of consequences. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


My hand slipped into his, rough, calloused, but warm against the bone chilling air of a Northwestern forest. His feet seemed to glide, to never touch down, while mine tripped over every knotted root, and jutting stone. I could see nothing, but hear everything. Each sound heightened, bringing the thrill of fear closing in on me. My self- control, my fate left in the direction of a friend of a friend. I squeezed his hand and he laughed at me in the dark. Aleathia Drehmer 2006


Her fake smile, and tailored black suit cannot cover her awkward compensation for heels so high that they sharpen the angle of her body into something crooked and old. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by From The Ground Up 6/07


50 conversations swirling my immediate atmosphere at once, random words about yards gained and lost, touchdowns, penalties. I climb into the cab of our Korean car, like returning to the womb with its safety and warmth, sounds muffled to a low roar. I feel dizzy and spent with my mind out of time, wondering how exactly I ended up staring at drunk men stumbling and yelling, trying to light cigarettes in the flame of a bonfire. Aleathia Drehmer 2006

"I Am Floating"

I am floating on the ceiling of a yellow school bus, going down a lone dirt road enveloped by prairie grass, neatly and symmetrically hedged for miles by barbed wire fences. I am floating on the ceiling of a yellow school bus, over young children with sun-streaked hair, and sun-dappled faces, and laughter lilts through the air rising until it covers me. I am floating on the ceiling of a yellow school bus, the air is thick with summer, and chatter of vacation, of impending freedoms, and there is a light that I have never witnessed in all my years. I am floating on the ceiling of a yellow school bus. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by The Outsider Writers 6/07

"Opera Night"

We arrived at the opera house late, great gilded doors closed until intermission. Suffering dirty looks from dapper dressed ushers, we stood in the waiting hall watching opera on TV. I felt embarrassed by our poor opera etiquette. I looked at you, you at me, and a giggle rose from you, with a smile flashing like fire. Your arm easily looped mine. as we sauntered through the doors like queens into the cool evening; Air so open and glorious, and fresh on our faces, that we sat in the cab of dad’s rusty pickup, with windows rolled all the way down, drinking cheap wine exchanging kisses on the lip of the bottle in opera dresses. Aleathia Drehmer 2006 Published by Juice 6/07


I awoke before the alarm with a pale morning light slipping through the blinds onto your sleeping face. I climb on top of you, kiss you softly as your lips part in a smile, pulling me close into you, your firm hands pressing our bodies together with quiet control and intensity. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Toxic Honey"

Abandoned house dark, rickety and leaning losing its' battle with gravity one degree at a time. Yard over run with junked cars in various stages of erosion, the chaos of weeds strangling everything. The high pale moon catches the hint of light from a chain attached to the porch railing trailing beneath the tendrils of knee-high grass. A guttural growl from the darkness raises my heart rate, raises its’ hackles, stifles my breath stopping me still. I watch the saliva dripping from its' bared teeth like toxic honey from the mangiest dog I have ever seen. A creak from the porch moves one eye from dog to the door. A child with flaxen hair matted and tangled, body like a wisp of air with eyes like the moon Io emerges from shadows like death. She floats down four rotted stairs sitting in the grass putting her hand on the head of the mutt, teeth still shining like razors, both staring at me. Our eyes lock as she leans to the dog’s face and whispers “shhhh.” Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Upcoming Publication in Mystery Island's "13 Knights of the Apocolypse" Print Anthology

Monday, March 12, 2007


I crawled through the window in our basement apartment not wanting to face you. I just wanted sleep, deep, dark sleep. I contorted my body through the window to my bedroom, praising myself for leaving it unlocked. I caught a glass paint jar in mid air as my toe tipped it over the edge. I crawled into the bed, sheets stale and cold like the state of my mind. I never slept so good. I woke to the feeling of warm breath in my ear, a dog panting in eagerness to be noticed. The mattress around my head seemed to create a wormhole, and I felt like I must be dreaming. I opened my eyes. You were straddling my body, blankets tight like a straight jacket. Your tough hands created the space my head rested in. You were the dog panting in my ear. I held my breath as you gritted your teeth in anger at being tossed from the balcony. You told me all the things you would do to me when we were alone. I could see the hematoma on your skull and I smiled on the inside. Aleathia Drehmer 2007

"Jumping the Median"

He always took me places that I didn’t fit into. One night, I found myself in the local biker bar, everyone hopped up on coke, except me. I drank my beers pretending to like the music, thinking about how infinitely different the world looks as the minority, until he decided he’d had enough of watching me squirm from across the smoky room. We ran across the four-lane highway, jumping the median almost cost me my life, but now my heart was racing. I was wet with excitement at cheating death again. We walked down the alley behind Blue Video in edgy silence. He pushed me up against the wall, pinning me with one arm, pushing the air from my heaving chest in the darkness, while the other hand found it’s way down the front of my jeans. His fingers slipped in like a dream, and he smiled at his achievement. Aleathia Drehmer 2007 Published by Motherkisser 8/07