Brynne Rebele-Henry
Self-biography as a girl with no mouth

Let me be pure/let me be holeless


The safest girls are those who stay quiet


Saints would stitch their lips shut with black wire


I always said that one day I would be holy


I always said that one day I would be a swan


Mute and nothing but tar and lovely feathers


We used to mix vinegar with salt water


Gargle it to look for cuts inside our throats


I used to swab my own throat until I choked on the cotton


Once I coughed for so long my lungs fell out


Once I forgot how to speak


Once I became all stone


Once I was something not girl


Once I was a bird


Found In Volume 47, No. 01
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Brynne Rebele-Henry
About the Author

Brynne Rebele-Henry’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Denver Quarterly, jubilat, Rookie, and So to Speak, among other places. Her writing has won numerous awards, including the 2015 Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America, the 2016 Adroit Prize for Prose, and a 2017 Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner. Her first book Fleshgraphs appeared with Nightboat Books in 2016. Her second book, Autobiography of a Wound, won the AWP Donald Hall Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2019.