Black Petals Issue #103, Spring, 2023

Editor's Page
BP Artists and Illustrators
Mars-News, Views and Commentary
All the Sky Is Waiting to Be Told: Fiction by Daniel I. Clark
Fire Sale: Fiction by Christopher Pate
Kregah: Fiction by Ron Capshaw
The Beauty of Machinery: Fiction by Hayden Seay
The Cold Sore: Fiction by Chris McGuinness
The Lake: Fiction by Harper Hargis
The Price: Fiction by Josh Hanson
The Tailbone Is Connected to the Hipbone: Fiction by Michael Fowler
The Thorn Tree: Fiction by Lawrence Buentello
They: Fiction by Tony Ayers
Work Experience: Fiction by Martin Taulbut
Burns: 3 Connected Drabbles by Hillary Lyon
Grandma Medusa: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
I'm So Sorry, Computer: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
Invasive: Flash Fiction by Paul Radcliffe
Jumper: Flash Fiction by Kurt Hohmann
Personal Things: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
The Good Doctor: Flash Fiction by Ron Capshaw
Another Tomato Invasion, Again: Poem by I. N. Shimabuku
Curse of the Crazies: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Ghosted: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Meteor Moon: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Halo Around the Sun: Poem by Kenneth Vincent Walker
Maker's Image: Poem by Bindi Lavelle
Specimen: Poem by Bindi Lavelle
Blood-stained Jupiter: Poem by Meg Smith
Cat Science: Poem by Meg Smith
Mortician's Powder: Poem by Meg Smith
The Pinups of the Afterlife: Poem by Meg Smith
Dark Gate Park: Poem by Meg Smith
A turntable fabricates hope during the apocalypse in 3 parts: Poem by Dennis Bagwell
Reverend Mother Munchausen: Poem by Sophia Wiseman-Rose
Whispers of Winter: Poem by Ashley N. Goodwin
A Man Is Nothing Without His Wife: Poem by Ashley N. Goodwin

Ashley N. Goodwin: A Man Is Nothing Without His Wife

A Man Is Nothing Without His Wife

Ashley N. Goodwin


Gold strands framed her heart shaped face.

I’d follow the trail of brown dots that encircled her rosy cheeks.

But before I connected them like a constellation in the sky,

two beaming lights consumed me.

And I was nothing more

than a victim of her olive-green eyes.


I’d sail along the curvature of her lined lipstick

as a wave swept underneath to her cupids bow,

I’d get tossed overboard into the salmon waves.

And as I broke the surface and took a deep breath,

she puckered her lips

and always pulled me back under.


She expressed herself with the colors she wore.

Fabrics with repetitive shapes and lines.

She handpicked her fragrance every morning

from one of the four seasons.

Like she cherry picked at the blossom of spring,

or like she baked an apple pie without the fall foliage.


She said she never measured the time between us,

but she had an hourglass figure,

and flipped the meter.

After twenty-five years of marriage

and retirement in the infinite evergreens

in our cabin wasteland.


Although my wife’s skin drew in the winter blues,

and the lack of pulse left her bedridden and cold,

she no longer worried about what to wear. 

And when her intoxicating fumes overpowered her vanilla cinnamon

I put a piece of her in every room in our cabin,

because she knows I can’t stand being without her.

Ashley N. Goodwin is 28 years old and resides in Arizona. She got her creative writing certificate at Mesa Community College and was accepted into the upper division creative writing program at Arizona State University and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Her dystopian short story, “The Voiceless” was published in the December 2022 Issue at The Write Launch. Her current project is "The Mind Projector," a collection of psychological horror short stories. Invoking uncomfortable emotions is one of her favorite things to do.

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