Breadcrumb #245

HAELE WOLFE

The Atlantic was a girl, but not in the way that you think. Not in the way of ships or asses or mothers. She was a girl in the way light can be held between your hands when you are seventeen in Ohio in a field of corn that is buzzing with insects and burning with the setting sun. She had brown hair and secrets. She had hazel eyes and a smile that was a little crooked on the left side. She was a girl, she was everything. 

    The Atlantic is another name for the ocean. I know you know, but I’m saying that we’ve divided the body as if it were not one, breathing, thing. We have excised the limbs and drawn a line across the neck on globes as if it means something. As if it is some kind of fetish that allows us to traverse her body more easily. This is not the right way to treat girls. When you divide a woman into parts, you also divide her soul. Every action is met with opposition. Every action causes a reaction. Do not cut women into pieces. Do not divide girls into bodies of water. Only go swimming if you want to.

We have excised the limbs and drawn a line across the neck on globes as if it means something. As if it is some kind of fetish that allows us to traverse her body more easily.

    When you love someone you have to let them go. The Atlantic was a girl with brown hair and hazel eyes and she was so sad. She never learned how to let things go—and she loved everything. She had a room decorated in punk posters and painted bright pink on all four walls. She had a boyfriend named Dan who was in a local band that she ran the merch table and website for. They weren’t that good, and she knew. But still, it was something. On Sundays she would save her quarters and bike to the gas station to pick up doughnuts from the little plastic container on the cashier’s counter. One time she tried to dye her hair blonde but it just ended up being orange and her uncles made fun of her at Thanksgiving. She had a mother and a father and two sisters and she loved everything. And it hurt, because she never learned to let things go. 

    The Atlantic grew up and moved away from home. She grew an ass and tits and a consciousness but somehow, deep inside herself, she was still a girl. It had become her permanent state. The Atlantic got a degree in mathematics and literature. She went to rallies and found out what debt really means. She learned how to put away her eyes and listen. Her family kept telling The Atlantic that this was the best time of her life. Hearing this made her anxious. And when her mother called her on the phone, The Atlantic would take it away from her ear until all she could hear was the tinny cadence of concern echoing across the line. The Atlantic didn’t think her mother ever noticed her daughter doing this. And later, when The Atlantic realized that her mother wasn’t always going to be around, knowing that she had ignored her mother like this made The Atlantic go into dark, airless fits that burned everyone within ten feet of her.

    It’s hard to explain currents. It’s hard to talk about motion as if it is not governed by that thing your mother said to you when you were seven. As if it is not dependent on whether or not your father told you he loved you before he died. The Atlantic was governed by motion. How could she not be? She was a girl, she was everything.

    The Atlantic finished school and receded. Occasionally she would surface to make tender, brief contact with her family, her lovers, or the dogs that roamed the beach in the mornings. The animals always trotted over to The Atlantic cautiously as first, sniffing her offered hand before allowing her to bury her pale face in their fur. She was not sad, she had always raged like this. Silently, violently. When the owners caught up with their dog, The Atlantic had already receded. She was a queer thing and did not need much love. This is what she told herself under the moon when she couldn’t sleep. This is what she whispered when it was so dark that she could not see. She was trying to make it true, which is the hardest thing of all. She was trying to conjure belief out of salt.

    The moon rose, the sun set and The Atlantic.

• • •

Breadcrumb #244

JESI TAYLOR

In point blank range
the dead, cold core of the star
bled blue and black and silent
while the badge drowned in power
and the shots fired in waves

He couldn’t breathe
but his flesh signed a contract with the grave
years before they transformed his neck
into a portal,
and they watched his life dissipate
and contort into a symbol of
antimatter, dark matter garnered
and choked by the hands of the state

of chaos, of circumstance,
of the romance language of violence
whispered in endless black swan songs.

In point blank range
sidewalks become final resting grounds
where two cents become last words
and lovers becomes statistics
because happiness and liberty mean nothing
when the pursuit of life is contingent.

When your body exists to be counted
and your pulse creeps like a metronome,
and your heart beat is a pendulum pitted
against the syncopated circadian rhythm of
equity comatose.

The fine line between life and death can be blue
and thin and the site of the right kind of fear,
the kind of fear that turns little boys into target practice,
the kind of fear reserved for the white knights
lit by the swirling reds and blues of sirens.

In point blank range
they hunt.
The shots fired in waves compose
the political hydrosphere of bodies
drowned in chaos, in circumstance,
a final solution
that gives the problem the power
and calls it justice.

• • •

Breadcrumb #243

DANIEL GRJONKO

I am not the things I obsess over:
Red face jaded gut
pushing scary narrative
which, in fact, surrounds us plenty,
never enough to the point of screech-
and I’m screeching still,
a torpor of horror
which sounds funnier than it is.
 
It’s hearing yourself repeated
but ever so twisted, bit by bit
without assault
until the result is the horrorgreen version
and you can’t tell the difference.
 
They’ll say:
“You look tired.”
They’re not wrong.

• • •

Breadcrumb #242

MONICA LEWIS

I loved when we spoke of our
mutual love of movie previews,
starwars and superman shit, 
films and comics, you read, 
and shared and me,
a writer, and you, a hungry reader,
I fell for you mad.

I fell when you lent me your first
editions of superman and neil gaiman.
I fell when you kissed me so hard
one november night, second date and we
had too many sharp upon sharp holiday cocktails,
thanksgiving's eve, and so,
the streets were our own, yet, in our shared,
brooklyn way, silent and equally alive, 
we struck up some bright christmas
lights and nature blessed our romance with a speckle of
first snow, and no pedestrians in sight, 
bk streets our very own snow globe, and your hand in my hair,
all gentle, yet grasping, and
your arm pulling my pelvis into yours, the
the forces that force us to attempt a
flight of heart alongside an other, 
again and again, after too many falls, 
that night, the force, awakened.

• • •

Breadcrumb #241

DEVIN KELLY

Inside my body is a body
where I keep my body.
Inside the room I hold my body
– prone, dying fish, wanderer
exhausted –
with the hands of my other
body & listen for the sound
of the living breathing
through the walls. Outside
the window. Smoking on the fire
escape. Once I escaped
the first hole I dug for myself
I watched the sun descend
into the hole that is the other side
of the world & spent
my whole life chasing it
by moving deeper into my body.
When I entered the room
I walked through the door
of your mouth with my mouth.
We breathed together & our breath
gave life to flowers. I once
read a story of a man
who grew a fir tree
in his lung. Our bodies
are worlds & these worlds
war as worlds do. They live
& die. They toil against their walls.
So much in us struggles
with so much in us. If there is truth
at all, it must be this. You hung
frames on empty walls
in an empty room. The frames,
filled with pictures of you
in other rooms. When finished,
you held your knees to your chest
& waited for them to fall.
I was just outside the door.
The importance, I wanted to say,
is that there is anything
worth breaking. I opened
the door & brought the outside
with me & it felt like all
we don’t know feels –
silent, trembling, a thin
vibration rippling the dark water
of the sky. I found you
when the room balanced before
the idea of becoming the ruin
of a room. We live here, now,
in this act of balancing. Here,
where all things
extend toward all things
but never touch. Isn’t it
beautiful? All night
we hold each other
without knowing
we hold each other.

• • •