Poetry, Updates


“When I awoke from the nightmare,
I reminded myself that I was alive.”

The blade cut into the night and flashed silver against the moonlight. And even though my ears heard no sounds but the thundering of my heart, I swore I could hear the sharp metal singing its high-pitched tune as it sliced through the air. It slipped through my skin like it was warm butter and at first I felt nothing. I wondered if maybe it was shock or disbelief. But then the pain started. Like someone injected gasoline into my bloodstream and lit a match. I watched as the thick, red liquid poured out of the fresh wound and begged for death. And as he stood over me, he licked my blood from his dagger and smiled down at me in a show of blood-stained teeth — right before everything went black.

When I awoke from the nightmare, I reminded myself that I was alive and the true face behind my fears liked it when I called him Daddy. The only comfort I found was knowing that death came for him first. Too bad he didn’t take the memories with him.

© Sarah Doughty

This was written as part of
a much larger collaboration called Sharp
with Sudden Denouement‘s Weyward Sisters,
nine other extremely talented writers.
As always, it was a pleasure writing with them.

Poetry, Updates


“My love, all I want and need is you.
It’s always been you.”

Maybe that’s what I can’t reconcile. What I want and what I need. You. You see, I want you to be by my side. I want you to love me, unequivocally, just as I love you. I want you to grow old with me, and fall more in love with me every day as I do for you. I want you with me, happy, content, and fulfilled. What I want is you. All of you. For always….

© Sarah Doughty

Read the rest of this piece
at Sudden Denouement.
As always, many thanks
to the wonderful people
there for all their kindness
and support.


Saving You

“Darling, the irony is that
you think I saved you.”

Sometimes I’m okay. Sometimes, I don’t think about what’s changed. I don’t think about the things that broke me. The things that tore me down. And sometimes the light is too bright for those demons to creep around the edges of the darkness and whisper horrible things to me.

But then all of a sudden, it stops. I can’t breathe. My heart begins to race. My knees are weak and I can’t help but shake all over. It feels like I’m drowning. And then, I’m gone. I become someone else. I lose myself for a time. Somewhere, along the way, I forget how to breathe in. The process that is always so automatic is lost to me for a time. I can’t inhale. I can’t let all the air out of my lungs. It’s like my body forgets everything. For a time.

I always come back though. I can suddenly breathe again. And oxygen races through my bloodstream like battery acid. So, maybe that’s what I fear so much. I never know when I’ll go away, or how long it’ll be until I’ll come back. But I do know one thing. You help me stay me. For longer. You help me find myself faster.

You are my life preserver, darling. I don’t know if you’re even aware of how much you’ve saved me over the years.

The funny thing is, you think I saved you.

© Sarah Doughty

For Pumpkin, one of the greatest dogs
I’ve ever loved. She’s always there
when I need her and it breaks
my heart watching her grow older.
Slower. I know her days are numbered.
And I fear when that hourglass runs out of sand.
But until then, I’ll keep loving her
just as fiercely as she loves me.


Letting You Go

“And my love, I don’t want to let you go.
It’s killing me just thinking about it.”

Sometimes I wonder if you’re nearby, watching me. I wonder if you’re concerned. I wonder if you’re happy. I wonder. But I can’t live like this any longer. I can’t keep thinking about what could have been if things were different. It’s not allowing me to move forward. It’s got me stalled. And my love, I don’t want to let you go. I don’t. It’s killing me just thinking about it. But I’m too weak to keep sitting up late at night aching for you. So maybe, if you’re there, tell me it’s okay to go on. Tell me it’s okay to let you go. Even if I can’t hear you, maybe, in some small part of me, I’ll feel that it’s okay. Maybe, that’ll be enough.

© Sarah Doughty

Maybe, that’ll be enough.


Shining Through

“I was made to rise above your labels.
Because like the sun, I was always
meant to shine through the dark.”

Savages. That’s what I call them. The ones that believe they can do anything and no one can stop them. The ones that think they have power. They are the ones that cause havoc. They try to break us, just for the pleasure of knowing they can.

But we are too strong for that. We were made to rise above them. Because the sun needs a place to shine through their darkness.

Maybe that’s why, deep down, they fear us. Maybe, that’s why they want to dominate us.

Maybe, that’s why they like to put labels on us. To make them feel superior.

Let them. We know where the power really is. And they can never take it from us.

We are made of survival.

© Sarah Doughty

Maybe that’s why
they label us as witches.


Special thanks to Blood Into Ink
and Whisper And The Roar
for also publishing this piece
(here and here)
and giving my words
another place to rest.



“Though I am hurt, I can survive this.
I know I can.”

I’m hurt, darling. And I think what hurts the most is that, at some point, you stopped caring about me. Maybe it was distance. Maybe it was the time. Maybe it was me that finally pushed you away. And you let me. Though I am hurt, I can survive this. I know I can. It’s just going to take me a little time to figure out how.

© Sarah Doughty

I will survive this, too.


Playing Games

“I loved you. But I don’t know
if I ever mattered to you.”

How could I possibly explain how I feel if you don’t even see that you’ve done anything wrong at all? Can a person be that blind? Perhaps even narcissistic? Although, even for you, that seems harsh. But is it? Truly? Beneath the surface was that all I was to you? Is it possible to believe that others have never been hurt by this cycle?

Maybe you just don’t see. That’s the loyal part of me speaking. The part that feels like you were real. Genuine. That you were my friend. But I’ve been down this road before. I loved you. But I don’t know if I ever mattered to you.

© Sarah Doughty

Or are we still playing
games of denials?


I Am A Mask

“All I am is a mask, trying to cover
all this pain I feel.”

Sometimes, on the surface, I seem like a perfectly happy person with this perfectly happy life and a loving family. Though I don’t talk about them in detail much, I can say that my life is far from perfect. I still have pain every day. I still have habits I developed as a child as both a coping mechanism and an attempt at making myself undesirable by the man that abused me every night. Though that last part failed, the coping did help to an extent, which is probably why I still use it today. But mostly, underneath it all, I’m not just in pain. I’m suffering. The guilt I carry every day over what happened then, and what I carry now, for not being okay, is almost too much for me to bear. But I do it. And I will keep doing it for a long as it takes.

© Sarah Doughty

It’s not just my family
that deserves normalcy,
but I deserve it too.
And that, right there
is a step in the right direction.
I deserve it too.



“I guess, what I’m asking is,
do you even care to understand?”

Didn’t you know? I live with this pain every day. Not just emotional scars that seem branded into my memories. My personality. My entire being. It’s so much more than emotional pain. There’s physical pain as well. Like my body doesn’t know how to relax, no matter how much I tell myself that there’s no danger. No threat. My muscles remain tense, my senses on alert. Can you fathom how it feels to hold your own weight on your shoulders, never able to release? Can you fathom why I suffer so much? Why it felt like you ripped my heart from my chest and tossed it away, like it was a burden? I guess, what I’m asking is, do you even care to understand?

© Sarah Doughty

Do you even care at all?

Poetry, Updates

Only One of Us Gets to be a Martyr

It was the defiance in your gaze that caught my eye at first. The way you did the opposite of what anyone told you, for the sake of proving them wrong. Sometimes you succeeded, and sometimes you didn’t. But it never stopped you from being you. Down to the core. Making your own way, on your own terms. Maybe that was what fascinated me for so long. What left me in awe. Maybe it was some of the things you said. What left me speechless.

(But I’m restless,
full of
ruling my own city without mandate or
consensus, putting up
fences, making
contestants of
taking something so breakable as penance
and helping it
be bent
in pieces.)

Read the rest here.

© Sarah Doughty and Nicholas Gagnier

I had the distinct pleasure
of collaborating with the amazing
and talented Nicholas Gagnier
to celebrate the second anniversary
of Sudden Denouement.
This is just an excerpt of the entire piece.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.