decipher signs and symptoms in the DSM-5,
the potential medications, the pills
abandoned in the back of your bedroom dresser,
fluorescent orange capsules covered in dust.
I wanted to study the restless amoebas
of radiant color reflected on charts
of illustrated brains, the neon rainbow womb of
what they say went wrong, warped somewhere
in the shades and shapes of lava lamps.
I needed the sterile assurance of concrete descriptions,
WebMD headers and worn medical dictionaries
that could tell me why you died for seven years,
revived in cycles of love and hesitation,
ignoring poisons locked beneath your skin.
I needed to know why
the embers behind your eyes ignited
into ragged flame as feral as a sob
when the fate that you waited for
fell in a white flag at your feet.
I wanted to know until I understood
that you may know even less;
if, maybe, all that you know--
all that you may ever know--
Brianna Bruce currently majors in both English and Creative Writing at Cumberland University. Although born in California, she has spent most of her life in Tennessee. She serves as one of the assistant managing editors for the NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal and works as a specialist at her university's writing center. Her awards from Cumberland University include the Richard and Virginia Lawlor Creative Non-Fiction Award and the Freshman Award in English, among others. In her free time, she enjoys reading books in various genres, writing stories about her eccentric family, and watching horror movies.