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Busted Bubblegum Brain

By Caroline Morris

The table looks as though it is made of birch;

A light wood.

I circle it with my arms behind my back,

Left hand gripping right wrist gently,


Four legs, below a plateau.

An eye or two stare at me,

Knot brown,

Sizing me up just as much.

What is more intriguing is the pile atop.

Succulent steak, decadent cheesecake, smothered stroganoff.

I wave my hand, calling for more.

A plate of bagels, enchiladas, lasagna and gin.

I take a bite of each dish as porcelain hands lay down silver platters,

But the majority lays in front of me,

Visual, olfactory feast.

Add another strip of bacon,

Spray cheese and whipped cream,

Caramel, cherry, sprinkles, fudge on top.

It becomes one mountain,

Strands of spaghetti woven through,


No longer compound,


I grab a handful,

Dent does not appear though my mouth overflows.

I wave for more and more.

The table is creaking, groaning, crying.

I circle it again,

Cheeks smeared to my ears with sweet baby ray’s,

Extraneous grin,

I did not notice before,

The plane is so thin,

Onion skin,

And I see the wood begin to crack,

I see it splinter down the center so that

The food begins to


Reverse volcano forming upside down.

But it does not yet fall,

The table still has legs on which to stand.

I circle it again,

Hands caked with pie now grip my cotton candy hair,

Busted bubblegum brain.

Chiclet teeth and taffy tongue demand more,

They bring banana splits and Brie.

The table begs for less, but I do not listen.

I will clean up the mess when it inevitably comes;

Just for now, it all tastes far too good.


Caroline Morris is an emerging writer based in the Philadelphia suburbs and currently works as an editor. She received her B.A. in English literature with a concentration in writing at the Catholic University of America in 2022. Both her poetry and prose wrestle with the nature of femininity, internal and interpersonal relationships, and what it means to have a body. Morris has previously been published by Vermilion, Green Ink Poetry, Beaver Magazine, and the Penwood Review, with two honorable mentions for the O'Hagan Poetry Prize. Twitter: @Lean_writer


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