Spring 2024


By Christian Paulisich

My grandmother, a traveler before
she lost her memory, kept

a set of Russian nesting dolls
in the China cabinet.

I tinkered with the toy
I knew boys were not supposed to touch.

I would twist and pull
      each layer loose,

   noting what was lost
as the dolls grew

smaller: the scarlet-painted collar,
      an eyelash, violets warped

at the woman’s waist,
slight crescent between the lips. I watched

the vanishings
become more apparent the closer

I looked, the longer I stared
at what I no longer recognized.

Christian Paulisich received his B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and is a Master’s candidate at Towson University. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, but is originally from the Bay Area, California. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has been published in or is forthcoming from Literary Matters, Denver Quarterly, Atlanta Review, Doubly Mad, Blue Marble Review, Pangyrus, and others. He is a poetry reader for The Hopkins Review.

Spring 2024