By Tori Bryl

don’t ask me where i’ve been

look at the roses that resurrected;
why did they leave heaven for this?
let’s count all the petals
and better places they could have been buried
than along the lines of a chain linked fence.
look at the roads that make circles;
how does every stoplight get us?
let’s count all the missing gravel
caught up in car tires
speeding off to dead ends they thought
were escape routes.
look at the river that walks with us;
does water age like people?
let’s count the ripples like tree rings
that remind us on earth
we have no infinity.
look at the people passing;
are they leaving us behind?
look at your coffee cup;
can you get high on feeling low?
look at your phone;
don’t ask me where i’ve been.
look at anything but my eyes.
let me hide. do not seek.

don’t leave me alone with me

she stands over my shoulder
as shadow and monster–
i can’t tell if i’m one
and she’s the other.
sometimes she answers the phone
only to make sure
they won’t call back again.
she wants me on my own.
“no one ever did anything great
while holding someone’s hand,”
she says. I need both to choke
out the words from my throat–
from memories that linger
in dark corners and truths
that must come unfiltered.
“a fresh start,” she calls
the destruction of everything
i’ve built. i sit and watch.

Tori Bryl lives on the east coast of Florida, working and writing her way through her twenties. She enjoys late night drives, music, and films. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming in: Aeolus Literary Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Bridge, Capulet Mag, and Ink & Voices.