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Purple

BY BRYNNE REBELE-HENRY
 

Homeschooled, '18
2015 Adroit Prize for Poetry: Runner-Up

I hide the body
in my mouth:
I am not a girl,
not a dinosaur.
Candy canes, Papa
and his corsets.
Mama pulls her hair
over her mouth.
Inside: cocaine,
small birds.
When I was ten
we hibernated,
pulled our skins apart
and glued them
with sequins
and mama’s Chanel no. 5.
He tasted like cancer.
She closes her eyes,
her nose a red sunset
of places we haven’t been.
My ankles make bruises
on his calves:
the spaces where
our bodies don’t connect.

 

"Purple’s immediacy and sensuality caught my attention, and held it. From its startlingly visceral opening to its synesthetic metaphors, Purple is a gorgeous and strange adventure I want to relive over and over again."
- Tarfia Faizullah, 2015 Poetry Prize Judge

 

 

Brynne Rebele-Henry’s poetry, fiction, and visual art have appeared in The Volta, Souvenir, Alexandria Quarterly, and other magazines. Her work is forthcoming in Revolver, So to Speak, Ping Pong, PANK, and Pine Hills Review. She was born in 1999, and won the 2015 Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne award from the Poetry Society of America.