The parents cried, holding her small form just born. Camera flash smiles, blowing candles out on birthday cakes. Wishes meaning everything then forgotten with time. Band-aids worn with pride on scraped knees. A first pet mourned while listening to a first CD. Losing her virginity awkwardly in the backseat of a Toyota Corrolla. This morning… she pulled open curtains, staring out across a too blue sky and sunlit rooftops. Made a bed, shaking out the sheets. Ate breakfast while listening to the news on the TV. Laid out clothes, wondering what was best to wear. Did the colors clash? Brushing her hair and teeth in a cracked bathroom mirror. Chewed at her bottom lip, arms hugging her chest, standing alone on a crowded subway platform on her way downtown… she spits, gags, spits again. On her knees, dabbing at smudged lips with tissues from a small packet in her purse. She passes me one, exchanging it for the cash in my fingertips. I tell her to take care and she nods well aware these nights are full of starving ghosts — hungry for all the things we were and all the things we will never be.
Stephen J. Golds was born in North London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life.
He writes primarily in the noir and dirty realism genres and is the co-editor of Punk Noir Magazine. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling the world, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. His books are Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, I’ll Pray When I’m Dying, Always the Dead, Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows I Thought I Saw Once, Cut-throat & Tongue-tied, Bullet Riddled & Gun Shy and the story and poetry collection Love Like Bleeding Out With an Empty Gun in Your Hand. @SteveGone58