Susan Bruce: The Mouth Unwrapped
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The Guilty


I walk past

unheard of,


hands that

stare up at me

as if I am a

fragrant child.

A hand is here.

A hand is there.

There are windmills

of fingers

with no place to

go to feel good,

to get carried away.

It doesn’t take much.

They come out

of the mouth


despite themselves,

to scoop up all

the little vaginas.

A hand is here.

A hand is there

without grace,



Where are the bees

to guard me?

Yes I remember

the guilt, it

has a hole in it.


Fury Us

I am beside myself. There are no rebels but the ones lurking inside. My autonomic nervous system reclines, handcuffed to panic, never picks up its head, never smiles. Very dragon. Very Molotov Cocktail. If you ask, by the afternoon I will be missing.

Beside myself is a person whose middle name is Sugar, or Suky, or Sandalwood. Perched overlooking nightfall and lunar sevens she expects nothing, isn’t over-thinking it, isn’t convinced she has missed something. For this human being, it is possible. There. I know her.

Can I be unrufflable, more phlegmatic, less veined, more at ease in the world, wavier?  If only the fire breathing could remain unobtrusive just once--just once, Get your dander down! The hysteric turned inside out and the sun in.

The person with the sanctuary name, beside myself, suggests; Grieve. Puke. How feral! I am back to who I am, beside myself, measuring the leaks and the pile ups. This (kind of kinder) person, hands at ease, unsays leap overboard. You are beside yourself

Susan Bruce has an MFA in Acting from NYU. She acted on and Off Broadway for over 20 years. After 9/11 she began to write. Her chapbook, Body of Water (Finishing Line Press, 2015) is a dialogue with her fear of deep water. In her free time Susan loves to surf. She studies poetry at The New School. Her poems have been published in No Dear, Barrow Street, december, Finery, Luna Luna, 805, Dirty Chai.