Tag Archives: Ashley Cline

when the otters vanish, everything else begins to crumble

By Ashley Cline

“i read that online once—how it’s less about how everything dies, eventually, & more about how living is made more beautiful, simply. the trick is: company, you always need company.”
[after a letter, never sent]

i am twenty-nine, today, & my mother can be heard, in
just the other room, saying, beneath her breath, as often

as ever: such is life. & oh, how holy this old family phrase—
borrowed & practiced from the cupped hands of a woman i’ve

never met (& will only meet much later, it seems, depending
on which god you ask)—but oh, how she translates, no matter

the mouth, to mean, roughly: prayer—or, how wild these things
we cannot control! or, how sharp these teeth that smile back (but

not unkindly); or, you might as well laugh, my love, laugh because
you cannot stop such fickle things from happening; & laugh we

often do (because what choice have we, really?); because such is
life. because such is seasons. because you should see the marigolds,

& what tall things this soil can still grow.


Ashley Cline crash landed in south Jersey some time ago and still calls that strange land home. Most often found listening to Carly Rae Jepsen, her essays on music and feelings have been published by Sound Bites Media, while her poetry has appeared in 404 Ink, perhappened mag, and Okay Donkey Magazine. She graduated from Rowan University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and her best at all-you-can-eat sushi is 5 rolls in 11 minutes. Her first chapbook, “& watch how easily the jaw sings of god” is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press. Find Ashley Cline of Twitter and on Instagram.

lycorma delicatula, or how we once lived a life (we were so happy, then)


By Ashley Cline

to feed, the spotted lanternfly unfurls its mouth parts and pierces the plants phloem, or vascular tissue—it drains the nutrients from trees and vines; it leaves behind a hoard of “honeydew,” a sugar-water mixture that wrecks the forest floor, and it can do all this by the tens of thousands. ruinous and beautiful, a thumb-sized destroyer of worlds, the spotted lanternfly feeds most successfully, however, on Ailanthus altissima: or, the Tree of Heaven.

i am not built for death—or rather, i am not built from a god
who plays death on TV. it is a story my hands can recite from

hushed memories: in their slow deliverance, in their deliberate
clumsiness, in their guilty hesitance to swing the fly swatter, 

down—i have been told to hunt, to shake what little earth i was 
given. here: they quote other men. say: invasive species (noun)

– an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in an
environment where it is not native. say: invasive species (often)

– are capable of causing extinctions; say invasive species & never
once point to their (our) own history. & in the sunlight, how my

(now) bleeding palm looks just like the hunter’s wheat field in
late-autumn: wet with the final breaths of a buck turned kindling

turned stone turned forgiveness turned god—how it looks just like
the wings of a spotted lanternfly, still (in its death): an overripe 


apple drinking cracked pepper & honey from a violet & kingdom-
less sky               (forgive me how i apologize, every time)


Ashley Cline crash landed in south Jersey some time ago and still calls that strange land home. Most often found listening to Carly Rae Jepsen, her essays on music and feelings have been published by Sound Bites Media, while her poetry has appeared in 404 Ink, perhappened mag, and Okay Donkey Magazine. She graduated from Rowan University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and her best at all-you-can-eat sushi is 5 rolls in 11 minutes. Her first chapbook, “& watch how easily the jaw sings of god” is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press. Find Ashley Cline of Twitter and on Instagram.

the headline reads: “deadly spiders evolved venom to safely search for love” & honey, don’t we all?


By Ashley Cline


we are only animals, soft-bodied & delicate, & i

have been told that i apologize too much for this,

my mouth: that is—& the way she tucks herself

around dandelion greens & cuffed denim & all

other things that promise a fight (if only she asks);

the way she chews the necks of 80’s ballads & swears

that they are nourishment, enough. my mouth, &

what mixtapes she once played, loud, in empty parking

lots (dressed in nothing but last season’s winter furs);

& what mistakes she made, happily—mistakes we

called long distance, & by other names—so that even

the ants could be heard blushing to their leaf-cut lovers:

grow your fangs, darling. & grow them long.


Ashley Cline crash landed in south Jersey some time ago and still calls that strange land home. Most often found listening to Carly Rae Jepsen, her essays on music and feelings have been published by Sound Bites Media, while her poetry has appeared in 404 Ink, perhappened mag, and Okay Donkey Magazine. She graduated from Rowan University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, and her best at all-you-can-eat sushi is 5 rolls in 11 minutes. Her first chapbook, “& watch how easily the jaw sings of god” is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press. Find Ashley Cline of Twitter and on Instagram.