nosebleed season

Tara Robinson

the days are getting shorter, and  

my dreams are sullied with heavy forewarning  

of the violence winter will carry  

as tender in its arms as a newborn—  

visions of my teeth cracking  

like milky porcelain  

and falling out into my hands 

which are almost always bloodstained  


my sleep is laced with the feeling that something is coming to get me  

that I need to hide  

need to hibernate  

need to crawl into a cave with the carrion I’ve collected and a handful of bone coloured pills  

to sleep until it’s over  

and spring comes again. 


I’m dreaming of the house with dusty windowsills and  

a garden of tombstones 

where the ghost of my past lover resides 

where he leaves me  

again and again and again 

and I cry not at his absence but at 

how he didn’t even look back at me once  


the cold is creeping in again, and 

the air burns my nostrils like a blue flame 

the pale backs of my hands  

are streaked with red but 

bloodletting has never frightened me, 

it dribbles over my cupids bow and 

under my chin like wine 

sacrifices are sacred when they taste this sweet 


a ritual as ancient and sacrilegious as god, 

I spill my blood as an offering  

in the hopes that this winter will not be as cruel as the last 

that the hurting will not consume me 

that I will not have to hide for long 

make this suffering count 

let me survive it 

Author: Tara Robinson is a 22 year old writer who is enamoured with poetry. She is enthralled by anything relating to gore, melodrama, female rage, nostalgia, the mother wound, love, death and religion. She is currently enrolled in her first year of Fine Arts (Creative Writing). You can find her on Instagram @spacenang.

Artist: Emma Bruce is a multi-disciplinary visual artist from Yugambeh country working out of Meanjin. Her work discusses the relationship modern society has with the environment through an archival style in hopes to preserve the experience of being in the natural world. Her work hopes to invite her audience to partake in activities that nurture native flora and fauna as well as create a sense of pride to be part of it.

Editors: Brock Scholte and Breeh Botsford