Photography, Poetry

The Old Days

the old days

“My love, I miss the old you.
Without all the stress
I’ve added to your shoulders.”

Sleepless nights and the quivering dawn never bring me peace. It’s in those lonely moments that I remember. That I once knew the warmth of your touch, your arms holding me together when I struggled to hide my never–ending pain. That I once knew those gentle strokes in my hair, and even though I protested, I never minded when I felt my curls turn to frizz. That I once knew the brilliance of your blue eyes, the sound of your laugh when you struggled to keep from smiling and how it made me laugh as you failed. But these days, I see the gray spreading in your hair, the stress you hold in your shoulders, and how much you try to hide it. Words cannot describe how sorry I am for what I put you through every day. Words cannot express how much I miss you.

© Sarah Doughty

I don’t think I’ll ever stop
missing you.

For the 2016 #MayBookPrompts:
Midnight In The Garden
Of Good And Evil
Photo is mine.

Photography, Poetry

Playground

dark misty tree lg

“My soul lives among the shadows.
But it’s also the land on my redemption.”

My body rots in the warm sun. It pierces my skull like a thousand tiny blades cutting with perfect precision. To make each jab hurt worse than the last. This, my brightened surroundings, are rays beating down onto my scorched flesh, laughing at my inability to coexist in its presence. It taunts me, reminding me that I don’t belong. But I know my place. My soul lives among the shadows, dances with the moon, and twinkles with the stars in the night sky. This, where my demons live and thrive, is my prison. This, my world of darkness, is my salvation. This, where anything is possible, is my redemption. This is my playground.

© Sarah Doughty
2016

I adapted.
So can you.

Photo is mine.

Photography, Poetry

Vengeance Dreaming

“Sometimes, in dreams,
I wonder if hell keeps you in its grasp.
But I’ve never wished for it.”

The sound of your rumbling voice still lingers on my tongue like a rotted apple, writhing with maggots. That print of your palm on my reddening face still burns like a nest of fire ants, just as the rest of my body refuses to forget everything else. Scars covered beneath endless scars. Memories submerged in obsidian oil, surfacing only to taunt me. It is here, in this moment, with black roses surrounding your unmarked grave, that I revel in your suffering with a small smile and a gleam in my eye. A faint whisper escapes me. “I win.” Then I wake up and remember once more.

© Sarah Doughty
2016

I won. And that will never change.

In some ways, the anger
that I held for you
has melted away.
Despite the dreams,
I would never wish
for anyone to receive
eternal torment.
Yes, even him.

Photo is mine.

Photography, Poetry

Look Up

Pixabay

“My darling, you’re never alone.
You need to know you’ll be alright.”

Look up and take a look into the clear night sky. Can you see the twinkling stars billions of miles away? Can you feel the bitter chill of fall on the breeze? Can you feel winter coming in your bones? Can you feel me there?

Look up. I’m right next to you. I’m gazing at the same starlight. I’m feeling the same chill. I’m feeling the same pull of time. I’m right there, and yet you don’t know.

Because I am those things. I am there. In space. In the air. In your bones. Look up. You’re not alone. You’re never alone. Look up. Can you see me? I’m everywhere. You just need to see it. You need to know you’ll be alright.

Look up.

© Sarah Doughty
2015

Even if you can’t see me,
know I’m always with you.

Photography, Poetry

All I Have

all i have

“All I have of us are tiny grains of sand.
All that we were. All that we could be.”

All I have of us are tiny grains of sand. One brush of your fingers on my cheek here. One gentle kiss — warm, soft lips against mine there. A laugh here, a cry there.

Those grains were us. All that we were. All that we could be.

And as I feel those grains slipping between my fingers, I feel us disappearing with them. I feel those moments slipping away.

I’m faced with an age old question — do I fight? Fight to keep you mine. In my arms. In my life.

Or, do I let you slip away, right along with the sand?

I choose to fight.

Until my last breath  — or you tell me it’s over — I’m going to fight for what we were, what we are, and what we could be.

I’m going to crystallize that sand into glass so we’ll be one for all time.

Because that’s all I have left. And you’re worth the fight. You’re worth all of it.

© Sarah Doughty
2015

All I have is us.

Photography, Poetry

Forgotten

“I was blissfully in love with you.
But then reality hit and a part of me died.”

Long ago, you knew me. I was a different person. Happy. Blissfully in love with you. But now, all of that is forgotten. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t remember what it was like to be happy. Content. Safe. I was hit with reality and lost everything else. You see, a part of me died. I’m different. Lost. Forgotten. A skeleton of my former self. A jumble of missing pieces that can’t be glued back together again.

This is me now. A memory. And this skeleton is all that remains of me.

© Sarah Doughty
2015

This skeleton has
more than enough
pain to bear.

Photography, Poetry

All I Need

Photo credit @iva.green

We danced through the riffs and chords that made up the melody of our night. I watched the lines of your neck and the little smile on your face, and I knew I was home. So in love with your beautiful, luminous skin, and ocean-kissed eyes. All I ever need is right here with you.

© Sarah Doughty

 For the #NovemberNotes challenge.
Hosted by myself and Rosema of A Reading Writer.
Today’s song is Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran.

Photography, Poetry

I Am From

Original illustration via @bluhihi. Edit by me.

I am from late night moonlit bedrooms, filled with fear, pain, and guilt. I am from constant reminders of my worthlessness, inadequacies, and ugliness. I am from resilience, defiance, and the belief that good will always win. Despite everything, ink still flows through my veins and with every beat, my heart echoes, “survivor.”

© Sarah Doughty

 For the #IAmFrom prompt, hosted by Cornell University Press.

Flash and Micro Fiction, Photography

Five Years Ago

photo credit @s_a_w_a_n

September 11, 2026

Twenty-five years ago, one of my nightmares came to life, and it haunted me ever since. I remembered hearing about the people, falling from the sky. Plummeting to their deaths. My disbelieving eyes couldn’t look away. But, the nightmare continued.

It seemed like everything fell from the skies that day.

I remembered the shock and the numbness that lingered for weeks, along with brief glimpses of panic that didn’t fully manifest until fifteen years ago when the rest of my nightmares turned out to be true.

But none of it compared to five years ago, when everything fell from the sky. Five years ago, when everyone died, except for me.

© Sarah Doughty

For the #PiccadillyPrompts challenge
I’m hosting on Instagram,
based on prompts in their prompt journals.
This one is from 300 Writing Prompts,
which they were kind enough to let me share:
“Write a journal entry ten years in the future.”

Photography, Poetry

Haunted

If I could take it all back, all the wrong things I ever said, all at the wrong time, those unexpected moments where I bared my soul, I would. In those moments, I was vulnerable, hypnotized by your gaze as it locked with mine. At the time it was exhilarating, to feel you and how those deep eyes saw right through me. But now, I wish I could rewind and stop you from knocking down my defenses and shield myself from the pain of losing you. But I can’t. And I’m haunted by your memory. Haunted by all we were, all we could have been, and everything we lost.

© Sarah Doughty

For the ‘Support Insta Writers’ August Prompts
(based on books written by authors in the IG community)
hosted by Tracy and Journee.

Your Ink On My Soul by @c.strigas_sexyasspoet