Bryce Johle | 3 Poems

Bryce Johle | 3 Poems

Dying Limb

Charcoal in me

to soak up the bad

in the middle

of the night.


Capsules packed

with black

handed to me

in the dark.


I swallow them


so I don’t puke

like stepdaughter.


From complete burn,

with effort,


new fruit comes


and flower

you may think

will never



I trust in the unfolding

of tree trunks


a small death.


I forget you

don’t trust




and never thought

I could have

a dying,

a poor limb.


But here we are,

protecting ourselves

from food poisoning,



Inking Their Backs

Count the ladybugs crawling the vaulted ceiling, gathering

at peak. Count them with my thumb and mark them read


in smears on our ribs. Ten of them, eleven, soon they’ll crack

the windowpanes in labor, cry like a body of water, a winged


child, little flyers wisping in crescents from hand and returning

in good fortune. A corporeal swarm clinging to the warm sides


of wood and glass. Some might call it an infestation, as we do,

closing the door behind us, reading the pigment on the cages in


our bodies as we pack the car. Some collect lady spots,

number them with wishes. We thought they were junk mail.


My mother says they are a sign of pregnancy.

I begin to ink their backs neon green, so I know who’s new.


Some Disagreements

We’ve been fighting every day this month,

and each time, we make up and it’s the last.


And every day, we wake up and tip-toe

to the other, and recommend one last change,


just one more thing that would make living

together more loving, cohesive, and married.


We each agree to stop being quite so selfish,

and it sits in our stomachs like a wet snake


tied in a knot, but she said this was the last one,

so thankfully the arguing has come to an end;


we can be happy now.

Bryce Johle is from Williamsport, PA and earned a B.A. in Professional Writing from Kutztown University. His work has appeared, or will soon, in Litbreak Magazine, Literary Yard, October Hill Magazine, Ghost City Review, and ArliJo, among others. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and stepdaughter.

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