Three Poems – Alisha Bruton

Three prose poems from the series REVENGE IS THE BEST REVENGE


you said “don’t be a girl” but that’s just your witch talking. next time, beat your heart slower. kill a second bird. I know you like the ring of the gun shot, I know you like the hunt. I’m the widow of everything dies. I’m the widow of everything dies but you. fuck you, patriarchy. I keep asking WHAT JUST HIT ME and never get an answer. the lake talks back. the boats on the lake talk back. but talking back isn’t an answer, and rebellion doesn’t solve anything except the water in your shoes. where’s the nearest exit?


the first round of birth pangs is on me. I’ll sit here tensing and turning my hands into temples other sinners can hide in. I’ll get up to stretch my legs. I want the inhale too much. I want to let the weight of my pelvis fall on my whole pelvis. I want to wear my body like a nest. but the blood king in my heart tried too hard, the blood in my heart failed the acid test. I thought hard about hymning vs. humming and chose the conifers because I don’t trust any green that only lasts a season. “not enough woods for the both of us” you said as the macaws faded away into the trees. rare birds don’t do that. rare birds sing only for you. I heard you make her buy the song now. a quarter. another quarter. I don’t know if silencing counts as revenge. I want it to. 


animal farm is my life. I don’t mean bacon. the thing that defines a man is his bray. I bought you the three musketeers in your mother tongue. holding hands on the train they tried to make us russian nesting dolls. where’s the blame go? most people can’t unhammer; thats just not how physics works. men just grunt and swing away. shopkeeper, meet me in the lighthouse. my joan of arc. if the door is locked, lick your way through.

Alisha Bruton lives and cries and writes in Portland, Ore., where she is about to start medical school. Other poems can be found in The Diagram, Ampersand Review, and 751 Magazine.