Tag: Brianna Bruce

The Sensibilities of the Smallest Nesting Doll

                                                                      I was a child

                                                              of cool-patterned skin

                                                           Nesting doll in winter attic

                                                             Layers of paper-mache

                                                               In a frosted cocoon.

                                                         I gazed at lightning windows

                                                   While the others wept at darkness

                                              My mouth was kissed by thunder rumbles

                                          As my unshaken palms soothed trembling walls. 

                                     I knew the transience of playgrounds, fast friendships

                                    That only spanned sandboxes, ending with setting sun.

                                    I saw fate as fact in action: three dogs, then eldest left.

                                      Mortal math, quick tears melted into matter-of-fact.

                                          Dense glue decayed under hurried paint when

                                            Spring discovered gold in the sun. Paper

                                                   Cracked hairline fractures until I

                                                     Burst out and began to bloom.

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.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN