Illustration by Adam Priester

The Bruising by Vanessa Crofskey

Illustration by Adam Priester
Illustration by Adam Priester

3 hickeys blossom on my clavicle.

My neck holds
red hand graveyards
overlaid in verbena.

Here, a bouquet of ankle.
Foolish iris, a purple field.

On my upper thigh, orchids.
My mouth is pathetic,
clumsy, desperate.

Those who know
how tenderly
this garden creases
sprout mottle marks beside me.
Salvia in tall plumes.
A memory made in elbows.

And these, these foolish wanting hips,
dig for lavender’s tartness.

About the Author

Vanessa Crofskey

“This is a poem about love and bruising, how easily and messily the two combine.”

Vanessa Crofskey is a writer and artist whose style has been described as both introspective and “on fire”. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand, dreams of Wellington and studies sculpture. She was her last university’s former slam champion, and award-winning poet, and has performed and published a range of art and literature.

About the illustrator


Adam Priester is a Sustainable design student in Sweden, 24 year old. He’s heavily inspired by fantasy and Sci-fi. Some of his favorite authors are R. Scott Bakker, Lovecraft, Stephen King, Mark Lawrence, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert.

The Bruising is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the second edition of the literary collection The Machinery. You can read the first edition here.

Follow The Machinery!



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