Kerosene Day Dreams

short story + poem by Jean-Marie Bub

Kerosene Day Dreams

Much like atoms packed within a solid, we vibrate at the same frequency as we lay upon each other. Your goosebumps fit within the crevasses of my own as your sweat pools into the abyss of my collarbones, and although there is no music, your body flows along with mine. We move rhythmically amongst the waves that exist upon your smooth sheets, our composure being held with the fluidity of water — your words pour out onto my skin, and you are alive. The minùte pressure of your exhalation lingers on the surface of my epidermis, I tremble. I am alive. From your hands drip gold; a pure substance which is derived from the chambers of your heart, from the center of all purity, from the center of the Earth. On the days we are far from home, I can feel the tendons of my heart stretching out like arms, in efforts to find you again. It reminds me of your every swift movement, every soft word that's ever raced across your lips and I quiver at your opulence and marvel at the sound of your breath upon my skin. Our vibrations send shockwaves to foreign lands, we find comfort in the warmth we create within one another... much like the atoms that come together to make up the matter that exists in this world, we form as one. You are my core.


allow me to bathe
in your impurities.
i want to absorb your 
loathsome, i want your filth 
to seep, deep
into the layers 
of my skin, i want to know 
how it feels, your pain— 

allow me to shed you of
the dead skin 
that encases you in sin,
i want to rid you of
the past that 
lurks but never leaves. 

allow me to cleanse
the most vile slivers 
of your psyche, i want to
resurrect your soul and 
banish your sloth 

i’ll only need you to
sacrifice your vice and bare 
your scars.

if it makes you 
more comfortable, perhaps i can
show you mine 

Jean Bub is an author, publisher and mental health advocate based in New York. She’s the co-founder of @communityofpoetry, an Instagram community dedicated to uplifting poets, and the founder and CEO of Wide Eyes Publishing, a publishing house which amplifies marginalized voices. 

Her work has been featured in multiple national anthologies, Barnes and Nobles, and her book, "Pulchritude and Soul," has been introduced into her high school's health curriculum to bring awareness to the importance of mental health and the addiction that self-harm really is. Her second book “Roots of the Resilient” has been described as “raw, authentic and heart wrenchingly beautiful.” With each book she publishes, she strives to be more transparent and vulnerable in hopes it could inspire someone else to do the same.