As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Charlie Bast – Poetry

this is easy

sometimes in sleep i think

i dream the sound of my name

on your voice.  it is yelling,

which is how i know you,

and it wakes me, which

is no surprise.


but when i remember where i am,

i remember i am alone,

how you were in that place with

a tube shoved into your throat hole

and the feed-line snaking

from your belly.  sustaining “life.”


i also remember that time i prayed,

long before disease, with all my heart–

when i begged god to make it easy.

i want to believe he locked you away

in a body that could not speak or sit up,

to teach me.  be wary what you ask for.


if you were just hidden,

at least there would be a chance

you’d come back.  that would be simple.

i would no longer

keep an iron grip on my phone,

trained by hoping one day

the pain and cancer would

let us rest.


maybe then i could stop wondering

if i could ever go back,

drowning, crying:

“this is hard

this is hard

this is hard”




I lost this weight–that is,

I lost one-sixth of me, and

I’m thinner than I remember

being made fun of being.


I fit a dress that fits the lesser me,

its number small and new,

counting in lonely digit

bites, and grams, and time.


I walked past home while

one-sixth of I was getting lost.

Home called for me to stop,

then left scratchy crumbs leading back.


When I see the bread, I pinch it tight

between my fingertip bones–just how

my aunt pinched the wing of my arm,

right below the shoulder.


In the negative space of the mirror,

my blue bodice lace floods

the bulk where my one-sixth

used to be.


I still only see the old, wide perception,

which like a museum-housed canvas is

chunky of tint and two-dimensional,

bearing yet the heft to challenge

a three-man team.


Charlie Bast bio-pic 2014Charlie Bast grew Hawaii- and Las Vegas-raised before her family migrated to Southern California. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is not afraid to use it. In addition to her past editorship for two literary journals, her poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction have appeared in print and web publications under pen name Clarity Bast. When Charlie is not distracted by writing speculative novels, she works at a library full-time. Self-dubbed a ‘halfling girl,’ this Korean-Filipina-American has never identified as fitting into just one category of anything.


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Issue 3February 14, 2014
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