Breadcrumb #346

CODY LA VADA

I was only a shadow when I first saw you across the bar; you barely noticed
as I marveled at your face, softly blurring in the neon-dark.
The bitter sting of two-hundred-proof tears lodged in my throat.
You grinned into your glass, grew drunk on your own reflection.

I made several pilgrimages to the bathroom, neurotically
checking my image in the glass, powdering my face, rehearsing the things I would say -
but love is a language I cannot navigate; I speak only in desire and obsession,
the yearning gnaw of want, as of a seed that longs to bloom in a fallow field.

You smoked your cigarette, casting away embers the way one might
shoo away the unwanted affection of a past lover. I sat on the curb, cradling
my stillborn attempts at conversation, counting the striations in your iris,
constructing my own zodiac with the constellation of moles on your bicep,
but nothing could distract me.

My loneliness is a contusion the size and shape of your knuckles.
I broke into your apartment and left a helix of my hair on your pillow.
I chiseled your name into the marble of my thigh with a heated paper clip
as I got high and imagined our limbs tangling like the knots
in an erotic asphyxiation victim’s noose.

I put the joint out on my wrist and didn’t feel a thing.

When you kissed me, it was only so that you could drink your own reflection
from the twin streams of my eyes.
I wanted to pluck them out like pearls, string a necklace with them.

I watched as you toppled to your death,
dropping deeper in love with your own image.
I let you drown, watched as the black, toothless gums of the earth swallowed you.

 

Once a year, I visit this bar and order your favorite drink while I sit alone in back.
I document my changing face in the liquor’s ebb and flow,
dip my fingers into the gleam of my own reflection.

When I open my mouth, a single narcissus rests on my tongue
and you taste like the newsprint on yesterday’s paper.

• • •

Breadcrumb #343

ALANNA DUNCAN

k,

I’m mad at spring for smelling like you.
when the snow melted I ruined my shoes
walking to your house in the city
I bought your lotion, but the bottle’s almost empty
every girl I’ve touched likes the way it smells.
what’s to say about the predictability of your morning movements,
the shadows they cast in the same seven am light against
kitchen window frame and refrigerator,
you are stirring the french press contents
with a wooden spoon rhythmically with your left hand.
I hear the mouse in your pantry, but you don’t.
someday I will be the kind of woman to catch a mouse
and set it free; it’s eaten all of the granola and
pulled the cheese from the traps without getting caught.
good woman, a smart creature, you stir some more.
I’m only wearing your brother’s boxers you stole
from him long ago so they’re yours to lend now
and yesterday’s flannel shirt with one button closed
it ended up on your seventh stair last night
when we couldn’t wait for your bed.
after, we wake with both windows open, one of your breasts
covered by new white sheets greeting morning.
you still haven’t found the right curtains.
you buy me irises at the farmer’s market
they are my favorite color right before purple jumps to blue
I will have to throw them away when they die
maybe I will stop loving you then, or these comforts.
by evening I am home again, I conquer three staircases
the irises placed on my windowsill; the women who walk by will envy me.
the seven pm light across my empty bed smirks
its printed sheets still pulled tightly at the corners.

• • •

Breadcrumb #342

JESSICA CAROLINE

This is not a time to shoot the shit
That machretic droplet gone rogue
A set of affordances point out the obvious
Like you, I too do spin on the cusp
Like polyamory, or bitcoin, it will work once completely untethered.

Do we choose between more or less in sync
That's so funny, I was just writing you an email
Key is to hack away at regress
Living eternal on a Kurzweillian regime of supplements.

Thank you for making me thankful for mortality
We need not meet one last time
Don't you know already
Those are shaved peels
Reinforced debris
Inklings full.

 

• • •