Poetry Feature: True Crime by the Campfire by Bryce Johle

We discuss past lives,
their roles in our currents,

children, pets, and nuptials, or
don’t speak at all. 

When we’re silent, we nurture ourselves
with fake sausages, kneading our minds, our eyes

on the tongues and coals.
Someone narrates pedophilia in their family

and the light whips sickles on our faces,
beating time and rain wind in the pores

and choking off the fresh air, peace.
Crows land on our tent in the morning—

we wake up wondering how God’s souls are recycled,
how they could take nature’s calling for creation and

turn themselves into dark artists with talons, 
cawing lies about their sins from the rooftops. 

I can still feel the coals as lozenges burning speech,
sautéing our tongues in our mouths.

Bryce Johle is from Williamsport, PA and earned a B.A. in professional writing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Parentheses Journal, Litbreak Magazine, Eunoia Review, Literary Yard, October Hill Magazine, and Maudlin House, among others. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and stepdaughter.

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