Breadcrumb #286

CHRISTINE QUATTRO

Date a boy. Any boy will do, but if he’s good looking and has a car that’s bigger than yours, this is best. Actually, a truck would be best: back and front seats lifted off of the ground so people cannot see in. Without effort, they have to stand and peer and crane their necks and wonder: does that girl have a bra on?

    If he’s Italian, you know he’s wrong for you. Your father is Italian and all these men regardless of age are so damn angry they can barely help themselves. But, he is beautiful with shiny black hair, symmetrical bone structure, and he loves you as much as any man who hates women can love you.

    Dark tinted windows, scrambling up and over the center console because this a primal need. Somehow, a face with blood drained from it and flushed lips resembles a look of love when it is anything but. You’ll feel just as drained as those lips, as if something you didn’t want to give has been taken from you. Not that you didn’t make this choice, but in your making the choice you forgot that being with the wrong person is worse than not being with anyone at all.

You’ll feel just as drained as those lips, as if something you didn’t want to give has been taken from you.

    One day, the truck will be parked facing an open vineyard on a dead end street and a man who probably lives on that street will walk by and put his hands to the darkened window. “Who owns this truck?” he asks aloud. No one answers because he is alone and the two of you have flattened yourselves on the floor of the backseat. If someone sees you with your wrong choice, it means it counts.

    Mediterranean men, once again, are terrible choices for you. You know this! Why do you keep doing this? What you’re looking for here is a freebee. So instead of all this Italian business, you consider inviting a Greek boy over to make out while your mom is at work. Dark curtains that close are best. No one around to watch you blunder through this dating pool, is best. His body is chiseled, his face is okay, and his parents definitely want him to marry a Greek girl. If he’s Greek you’ll think he’s less wrong for you because he isn’t Italian, but he has a slimy parrot tongue that jabs around offensively. You’re trying, but he’s not. Or is he?

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Breadcrumb #259

CODY LA VADA

It’s a boy,
the nurse declares,
indicating the pixelated penis,
the sonogram blurry as a
Rorschach’s.
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.

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