Two Poems by Ashley Inguanta



What do you do
when your lover leaves you for the wolves?

Do you listen to the way
seasons change? The way patterns form,
the way your grandmother, her mother, become
one voice, deepened, when the root passes? What do you do
when your lover leaves you for the wolves
as root passes?

Do you listen, do you gather?
Do you sing?
Do you hold heaven in your hands
and beg your palms to bring something kind
into your fortune?

Do you place your hands to the Earth and say,
become, become?

I listened to one sister say goodbye to the other.
I was alone here.
The sister leaned over the other’s coffin, whispered
something sweet into her ear.

When there was nothing more to say,
the floor dropped. I fell into a place
where I would ask no more questions.

I would not care to know what to do.
There would be no way out.



I remember buildings—homes, a parking lot. My car. The heat. Myself alone or not alone—it doesn’t matter—and darkness, so much of it, that when I’d pull onto the main road it looked like a storm of stars. This town is the Last of the South and sometimes, when I’m wanting to remember, I will drive into the light, past the gas station and the sandwich shop and the place where I wanted to kiss you (wanted, wanted to kiss you), and God, someone has to listen to this story, someone must know that last night, when I pulled onto this town’s main road everything sparkled bigger than ever, like New York City. I took a turn, tunneled into shadow.

What if I told you that I am the shadow?
What if I told you that the tunnel isn’t fast enough?
What if I told you that I am the storm?

And what if I told you I wish to be the houses?

I am not the houses but

What if

What if I wish to be?


Ashley Inguanta is a writer and photographer who nomads around America sometimes. She’s a Staff Editor, the Art Director, and the Art Interview Editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. She’s the author of poetry collections For the Woman Alone and The Way Home, with a third collection entitled Bomb due out with Ampersand Books in 2016. You can find her here and here.