Carina Bissett

The June Editor's Pick Poet is Carina Bissett

Please feel free to email Carina at: cmariebissett@gmail.com

Carnia Bissett


The fire clings.
It creeps across the coals,
stretches flames across the gulf
spanning the distance
between you and me.

Can you save me
from myself?
Or will your steely resolve
keep you safe
while you watch me burn?

There was a time,
once upon a time, 
when you played the savior,
a tin knight
with a sharp sword ready.

I danced in circles
around your stiff stance,
wearing down your resolve
with a perfect pirouette
and a promise kept

until it wasn’t.
And then you left,
arm outstretched,
a final salute
to what might have been.

Now here we are,
a soldier battered,
a dancer singed.
You hold the match;
I hold the tinder.

Is that a spark I see
rising from the ash?
Or is it your wrath released,
reaching out
to consume us both?


I can hear your heart as it beats for me,
the coy scent of a graveyard’s perfumed dust 
as you whisper my name from the shadows.
But the curved moon is my weapon, not yours –
even though your acolytes chase seconds
spinning down the narrow road of each hour

until night unspools at the touch of dawn
as new threads shuttle across the sky’s loom,
weaving patterns in an eternal loop.
And when dusk unravels the full day’s work,
I will wrap you and your promise of death
in a white shroud of silken circumstance,

as I measure the moments of the thirteenth hour
in the trembling trace of eternal desire
and the inevitability of silent screams.


Although I’m thick,
paper-stacked, hardened,
my clothes are thinner still,
slim enough to show my silhouette
trapped in pulp pressed—
a life of idealized beauty.

It’s a colorful condition,
staged fashion shows
attended by cardboard cutouts,
stamped faces watching,

Propped up in place,
I parade down
the cardboard catwalk,
cheekbones so sharp they slice
paper-cut kisses.

I subsist on air
and powered fluff
of words unraveled,
fiber without content—
the greatest disappearing act
of all time.

Once upon a time, Carina Bissett wrote travel articles and books about the Southwest. These days, she spends her time crafting twisted fairy tales and cross-pollinated mythic fiction. Her short fiction and poetry can be found at The Journal of Mythic Arts, Mythic Delirium, NonBinary Review, Timeless Tales, The Horror Zine and other assorted journals and anthologies. For links to stories and poems, stop by www.carinabissett.com.