Russian Dolls

Megan Cartwright

Nestled one within another, Matryoshka dolls

each a perfect replica of that which came before -

only smaller.

I am retreating within.

Away from the night-time sounds and their threat of violence.


I compartmentalise

one reality inside the next.

Gravity compacting organs.

Made to measure.

Restricted abdominal breathing.

Contort myself to fit.

Breath catching in my chest,

Breath catching in my throat.

Until it stills.


Just an electrical impulse.

Don’t give it another thought.

Megan Cartwright (she/her) is an educator and writer who attempts to make sense of the nonsensical via poetry. Her writing has appeared in October Hill Magazine, Blue Bottle Journal and oddball magazine. Her latest work is due to appear in Quadrant Magazine later this year