Poems from Rachel Caruso-Bryant

Why Can't Good Girls Say "Fuck"?

Since when was cursing not good for the soul?

A well-placed fuck has

helped many a good girl

stay the path, forge forward

with ever greater conviction

to admonish or applaud

those events in life

that require more than imperative punctuation –

a stubbed toe, the winning goal,

forgotten keys and dropped phones,

getting the job, coming…

all made manifest with one word,


Less confident ladies

cite manners and etiquette,

obsequious aspirations meant to mute,

demean, and confuse –

they struggle and fumble their words,

sounding more like babbling babies

than self-assured goddesses.

If you are a good girl,

an honest girl, a girl with gumption,

seize your words unapologetically;

concern yourself with your actions

more than your mouth.

Shuck a fuck into the wind and ride it

like a bucking bronco

into the twenty-first century

because what the fuck is a “good” girl anyway?

The Fountain of Youth

I see her burgeoning belly.

I never made it that far.

You were nothing.

I mean it was nothing.

So I became nothing.

Her shirt flows out in front of her stomach

And hangs there like a portrait

In which I can see dozens of smiling faces.

Does she see it as a shield?

Does she think she needs one?

How perfect is perfect

When it’s something you don’t even think about.

God she’s beautiful –

Her swollen feet, her grand belly.

Her breasts move like water.

Surely she is the Fountain of Youth.


I bit into you and you gushed forth

The way I imagine stars are born

My chin was wet with red sugar

And your skin was caught up

In my teeth in jagged pieces

I held my head over the sink

Letting you flow wild

White water over my knuckles

I swallowed feverishly

Suckling on you like an infant

Reaching for the nipple

Before knowing what it is

I put all of you in my mouth

Scratching life from seed

Never born newborn

Your mother has bloomed

About Rachel Caruso-Bryant

Rachel Caruso-Bryant is from Florida and is now an English language lecturer at a university in Saudi Arabia. She lives with her husband and cats and travels the world whenever she gets the chance. She enjoys writing about cultural identities and displacement, her experiences abroad, and what it means to be a woman of the world. She misses the smell and sound of rain storms terribly. Her poems have appeared in the Crossways Literary Magazine, The Stark Poetry Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Gambling the Aisle, The Skinny Poetry Journal, A Lonely Riot, Gravel, The Red Eft Review, HitchLit Review, and more.


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