Brian Rosenberger lives in a cellar in Marietta, Georgia and writes by the light of captured fireflies. He is the author of As the Worm Turns and three poetry collections: Poems That Go Splat, And For My Next Trick..., and Scream for Me.



I stare at the sky, between the tree branches,
Skeletal arms reaching but not quite far enough.
Not unlike myself. Reaching.
No clouds. No stars. A sliver of moon.
Midnight landscape. Beautiful.
I imagine my ancestors, my aunts, my sisters, even my mother,
Swooping between the branches, their shadows in silhouette,
Challenging the Moon, denying the Earth, and all its limitations.
I watch. Alone. But not alone.
Hoping. Praying.


Just add water, the directions read,
And the Military approved Super-Growth Food.
Astonishing growth, promised the ad.
Once hatched, bigger and bigger,
Obeying your every command—garbage removal,
Washing the car, cooking, laundry and yardwork.
A step up from the antiquated Sea Monkeys,
Worthless shrimp, a child’s novelty.
Sea Primates—obeying your every command
Until they don’t.


I move through the woods,
Trees and fog hide my advance.
Squirrels race up and down trees.
A crow caws. Not a good sign.
Something moves over my foot.
I see toadstools, green and as tall as my leg,
A sure sign I’m getter close.
Then bones, animal or human. Unknown.
Then what passes as a house.
Made of trees, moss, mud, and dirt.
My sisters disappeared months ago.
I see them in the night skies,
Broomstick silhouettes. I miss my sisters.
I’m here to join them.


She has a variety of blades.
Some serrated, saw-like teeth.
The cut takes time, tearing flesh,
Tearing disguises, and self-told lies.
Some blades are dull as a butterknife.
Not really intended for cutting at all,
But you make do with the tools available.
Some blades belong in a shark’s mouth.
Others so keen an edge, you don’t feel the cut
Until you’ve bled to death.
Her knives are my knives,
Made of my memories of her.
A ghost of my dried tears.
She reveals the truth
One slice at a time.
My betrayal, my deceptions,
Me blaming her for everything.
Her suicide revealed the truth.
Each cut, closer to her salvation.
Each cut, closer to my demise.