Everyone Knows the Taste of Blood

Everyone knows the taste of blood.
It tastes of rust and wrinkled cherries
Trickling from the empty socket of a tooth,
Whether loosened by time or kicked out too soon.

The edge of an envelope sliced too sharply
Across the tongue spreads a tangy plastic film
Over the taste buds and mixes with a
Warm, salty slick of molten metal.

Teeth sometimes bite into the tongue
Like vipers striking a fleshy palm.
Scorching welts bloom, boiling
As the mouth sours with sharp pillars
Of stinging pain and soiled copper.

The adult grows over the space the child left behind,
And the red-flared tongue returns to pink.
When I needed your eyes, they looked away–
And the taste was pretty much the same.

Brianna Bruce

Brianna is an English major and a Creative Writing minor at Cumberland University. In addition to being one of the Assistant Managing Editors of NOVUS, she works as a writing specialist in the Cumberland University Writing Center and serves as the Treasurer of the Cumberland chapter of the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society. In her free time, she enjoys reading books in various genres, writing stories about her eccentric family, and watching horror movies.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN