First Love by Jessica Holzhausen

Ephemeral Elegies

I dreamed again that you were dead. There was a hole in the ground and a coffin, some white flowers – you never liked white – and people I haven’t seen in 20 years. They still look the same. "It is my fault," I say and my dream-self feels like 16 again. Sometimes I can still recall your smell when someone passes by, a whiff of perfume on the bus. And the smell of perfume mixes with the taste of smoke. And guilt. You planted it there, nourished it, fed it and unlike your letters I can’t put it away in a cardboard box. As the morning light filters through the curtains, I try to chase away the bad dreams with better memories. I made love in your bed for the very first time the perfect, caring kindness the softness, tender kisses and heated embrace I have to recall with…

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Deleting Eve by Jessica Holzhausen

Pleased to announce that literally stories has published one of my short stories

literally stories

My client bought model T17 in April 2027 as a – I quote – ‘customizable sex toy with programmable character traits mimicking the behaviour of a real woman’. Mimicking – that is the code word here! Mimicking! The sex robot the prosecution likes to refer to as ‘Eve’ has never ever been a real woman. T17 was an advanced tool that might have looked like a human, acted like one, but only because its programmers and my client’s own adjustments embedded that into its code. Mimicking! My client did not commit murder, he deleted a computer programme he himself created according to standards set by T17’s original programmers. He deleted a computer programme from his own device. My client therefore pleads ‘not guilty’.

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"Lungs" (2020, oil and ink on paper, burned edges)


Sand, paper and dust,

raging fires beneath the surface

a giant’s footstep on the back

black ink dripping down the throat

tears (un-)spilled

and blood longing for air.


Sand, paper and dust,

shredded and broken

a prizefighter’s punch in the chest

lifeless wings unfolding in a storm

shattered lungs

and a breath never taken.


Sand, paper and dust,

crumbled, brittle.


7-Days Writing Challenge

Since I’ve got more time to focus on my writing at the moment, I am starting a new email newsletter for everyone who likes writing, is looking for a challenge or wants to start something new: 7-Days Writing Challenge.

Subcribe here!

Virginia by Jessica Holzhausen

Ephemeral Elegies

It is dark in here and my fingers touch stone,
a hollowed cave beneath tons of rock.
How did I get here?
I can guess.
‘You,’ I say, an accusation in my voice.
‘You showed me the cave.
You’ve let me in!’
But it was me who sealed the exit.
Like a cavewoman
I am drawing your portrait in blood.
I took it directly from my heart,
because that is where you cut deepest.
Later, much later
I huddle in darkness
more afraid then ever of what I might do.
I dream of razorblades and knives,
sharp objects in all their forms,
torn skin
and blood.
I think about needles and scissors,
the flame of a candle
an endless fire.
Sometimes of gurgling waters
and Virginia Woolf
filling her pockets with stones.

Photo by Jens on

About the Poet:

Jessica Holzhausen is a writer and historian researching myths, narratives…

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