Bitter by Jennifer Thal

art from free stocks

button Eye Poetry Contest – Runner Up

January is a bitter month, face crumpling

in a lemon-suck scrunch, burning the inside

of your mouth and leaving an aftertaste.

January is barren, a weeping mother who

lost her newborn after the first snowfall.

January pulls tears from the corners of

your eyes, unforgiving and cruel. January

is a punishment, hiding the sun under 

lint-cloud skies and pulling the comforter

of nightfall over our heads early in the

evening. January sucks the marrow from

your bones and smacks its lips, savoring

what is left of the warmth we hoarded

during the languid summer months.

January is a possessive lover, stealing 

the breath from your lungs, crawling

into bed and shackling you to the head-

board, whispering empty promises and

wrapping its arms around us and suck

a bruise onto our ribcages. January is 

eternal, has existed longer than Death,

and will continue to live as an empty

entity. January has taken these words

and coated them in ice, and they stick

to my tongue and it hurts to pry them

out of my mouth. 


Jennifer is 25 years old and from outside of Philadelphia. She is a current student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her work has appeared on The Esthetic Apostle and Haunted Waters Press. She enjoys reading at open mic nights, advocating for body positivity, and empowering her readers through her writing.

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