chasm by Ariel Horton

her home-bleached hair, the strong smallness of her,
the slippage of her soft walk in the rain,
today this girl reminded me of you—
the thrumming weight of how I wounded you
somehow inside the curve her shoulders made.
I watched her blue shoes stir up limpid pools
of cloud-water, and my expired want  
for you mixed itself in, gasping and soaked.
last time we spoke was when the cancer spread
and wrung your father out of his body.
you asked me if the grief would always feel
the way it feels to swallow a void whole. 
I told you that time heals—gentle, cliché. 
the chasm in me screamed. I told her, shhh. 


Ariel Horton is a 21-year-old poet, actor, and college student. Her poems have appeared in Not Very Quiet, Impossible ArchetypeRogue Agent, ANGLES Literary Magazine, The Greenleaf Review, and Clark: Poetry from Clark County, Nevada. She has won a handful of awards for her writing, including a Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, two Whittier Poetry Prizes and the Clark County Poet Laureate’s Award. Beyond the pen and the stage, Ariel likes her four sweet dogs, art art art, and all types of cake. 

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.