Bryce Johle | 3 Poems
Charcoal in me
to soak up the bad
in the middle
of the night.
handed to me
in the dark.
I swallow them
so I don’t puke
From complete burn,
new fruit comes
you may think
I trust in the unfolding
of tree trunks
a small death.
I forget you
and never thought
I could have
a poor limb.
But here we are,
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.
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.