Breadcrumb #390


Mine wasn’t general, in fact I came out
a rotten plum. I’d suffocated in the womb.
My first two days were spent in an oxygen box.
If I close my eyes I create memory
of the tiny hiss of oxygen,

of my skin turning purple,
to blue, to pink, like morning. The thing I like to say
is that I came out dead, but that’s not really
the truth. Did I come out dishonest?
I imagined I should tell you this story, darling,

so I’m writing you this postcard. I stole it
from a gift shop like a bowerbird
on a mission. I guess I should feel
something about that. I don’t. Lying again.
Stealing again. I’m not sure what’s the fib.

Sorry for always doing things I don’t
want to. I say this in French, or the first
word in French, which is a lot like you
teaching me how to love in another
language. We were in a city I don’t remember

this city being. Do you remember?
There’s hardly room to fit this all on the card.
I will keep it brief. Yesterday I was a bad kid.
A man on 4th street stared at me
And mouthed who’s this guy?

He delivers line this and tosses an empty can.
And I think yeah who is he as I trip.
I walk around in this body, feeling
like a still-live animal, that everyone
is trying to taxidermy.

I am a boy. You told me so. I couldn’t keep my eyes closed,
and your mouth wouldn’t stop so you wanted
to take it all back. You had a tarot card
that told you to practice patience so you tried.
The room was a pharmacy of sweaty bodies.

It was July, it was the holiday. I couldn’t
believe you wanted me here on your shoulders.
I thought anyone here could have a mouth.
So take it back, I have this delivery
for you. I always overpay the postage.

I don’t remember where to sign it.
Sign me again. Like you did before
with the indelible marker. For days
I watched the eddy of black wash
down the drain. I thought you were coming

over. I thought you were staying longer.
I thought I would yawn again. Please,
I have a ballpoint and inky fingers.
Be warm-blooded, be wet-tongued,
be the one who sleeps outside the post office for me.

• • •

Breadcrumb #259


It’s a boy,
the nurse declares,
indicating the pixelated penis,
the sonogram blurry as a
They see what they want,
draw their own conclusions.

It’s a boy,
the mother says with pride.
She buys blue blankets,
periwinkle pajamas.
The father imagines teaching
his son to score touchdowns.

It’s a boy,
the banners cheers –
and blue is everywhere:
streamers, balloons, paper cups,
even in the eyes of the pink fetus
nestled in the blonde woman’s belly.
Her laugh twinkles summer-sky blue.

It’s a boy -
the first words the newborn hears
as the doctor ruptures the quiet, and passes
the swaddled bundle from hand to hand.
The new parents have no reason
to doubt, or to suspect that he could be wrong.

           With the birth certificate ink still wet
           (sex: M), mother, father, and child
           go home to a blue nursery –
           a blue life.

• • •