Carina Bissett

The March Editor's Pick Poet is Carina Bissett

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



I’ve taken every smile
my face has known
and filed them down
and down,
until all that remains
are sharp points
and paper-cut kisses.

Behind those smiles
hides a tongue tied,
teeth ground,
jaw locked
in place.
My stomach shrinks,
hollows settle

but it’s not enough
to starve, carve
through meat
and fat flayed,
ribs removed,
toes chopped off,
skin so tight

I don’t recognize
my face and form
echoing down
an infinity of mirrors
where perfection waits
just out of reach—
the last illusion.


Our vines twine together still,
roses white as snow and red as blood,
meeting at the top of the door
where the blooms guard hearth and home
from noble princes and wild beasts.
We did not know they are one and the same.

We had safety in silence
until you came knocking at our door
on that cold winter night.
We were secure from both man and beast,
so we let you in
not knowing you were both.

Before that night,
the white rose bloomed,
unmarred by the outside world:
a hot house flower,
innocent petals charmed,
ripe for the picking.

On the dark side of the house,
the red rose grew untrammeled
with prickly thorns and damaged leaves,
but graced with the pungent scent
of remote lands
inhabited by wild bears.

After that night, we shared a secret
under the bramble and bloom.
the decision to liberate you,
remove the beast within,
and free you from the gloaming.

She took you, my golden prince
to live in the summer lands
where the brightness seared away memories
of that wild red rose
snagging deep into the matted coat
for the freedom to prowl dark forests.


Come gentle spring in green’s desire:
the fertile floods, the tender shoots,
a promise of life in the making.

Come graceful fall, ripe bounty culled:
the harvest moon, the golden fields,
a promise of death in the taking.

When winter comes, she cradles bones of hope,
ash dusting dreams of the damned in the dark,
summer’s sacrifice red and ripe between her teeth,
shuddering pomegranate torn in two,
a promise of blood spilt in meadows bloomed,
a promise of seeds spent in shadows doomed..

Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and interstitial art. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Hath No Fury,  Gorgon: Stories of EmergenceMythic Delirium, NonBinary Review, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V.

She teaches online workshops at The Storied Imaginarium and she is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Stonecoast. Her work has been nominated for several awards and she was the recipient of the 2016 HWA Scholarship.

The link to her work can be found on her website: