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.

Brianna Bruce

Brianna Bruce is a recent graduate of Cumberland University, where she studied English and Creative Writing. While she worked as an assistant managing editor at Novus and as a writing specialist in Cumberland University’s writing center during her time as an undergraduate student, she now focuses on her work in the horror genre—specifically short screenplays, for which she has received several nominations and official selections from film festivals. Although much of her time is spent working on her applications for MFA programs in Popular Fiction, she also enjoys watching horror films, listening to comedy podcasts, and collecting mystery toys.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN