Breadcrumb #472


My mother was at her neurologist
being tested for dementia
and Alzheimer’s.

This is a poem in broken fragments.

My mother keeps leaving Styrofoam cups
of water lying around the house. Everywhere
you can find these white truncated cones
of tiny oceans waiting for her lips.

At the neurologist, they asked her
to draw a clock. She drew a cross.
Yes mother, we are all crucified
by time. You are a poet in picture,
you are a poet in rhyme. You were
my first clock.

Now you tell time
I am ready to go.

You don’t.

But I try to find you anyway.
You have left a map. A trail
of breadcrumbs shaped like
Styrofoam cups. All over.

“Make sure they don’t stop the Lorazepam,”
my mother says to the neurologist.

Lorazepam is used for the treatment of anxiety
but she gets that from her psychiatrist
not her neurologist. It also causes memory loss
and impairs judgment and coordination.

An estuary is
where a river’s current
meets the sea’s tide.

It connects the river to the sea.

The neurologist asked her,
“What’s today’s date?”

She says, “November 23rd, 1948.”

That is my mother’s birthday.

No estuary here.

This is a poem in broken fragments.

Her right hand shakes
more than her left
to keep her body

She remembers how to spell her name
but has trouble writing it down.

It’s that damned clock again.

My mother reminds the neurologist
of the Lorazepam again. She can’t wait
to bring that tiny ocean to her lips

where the river’s current
meets the seas’ tide.

That is where she wants to be now
amongst all this Styrofoam
floating down the river
into a sea of everything

but her.

• • •

Breadcrumb #434


i will die like this,
tongue struck stuck against the sky
and your name marked
somewhere along my skin.

but the wolves won't turn,
snout up against the moon to
howl at any atrocity,

there is no atrocity
other than my whimpering,
too fleshy, too blushed,
pink, orgasmic heart, but

blue blood black is the color of my true love's hair,

and the wolves know the women who
run with the wolves, the ones with the
shaggy hearts,
the never splayed,
ventricle veins, plump
and pursing, ever the pucker.

• • •

Breadcrumb #426


your words were heavy chains around my ankles, steel boots upon my feet
i was atlas, a world perched upon my shoulders
i broke my back to lift your two ton, black heart
there was no longer a need for a cage, rotting carcasses will not grow feathers
stone hearts will never take flight

thanksgiving came and went, you could have used my spine to break in half
there i had grown my wishbone
i still don’t know how much milk it takes to calcify a backbone
but i never stopped searching for any words or phrases or quotes or mantras to chug down
dunking cookies of wisdom into my cup in hopes that i would no longer be the girl with the glass bones

shatter me with words, clenched fists, tightened jaw
twist every connected strand of consonants and vowels into arsenic
you dipped my arrows into poison and turned the bow against me
i was inhaling you like cigarettes, getting my fix as you slowly stole from me
minutes, seconds, hours, feelings, firsts, hopes and dreams
blackened my lungs as you tore out my seams

little rag doll that you tossed out into the waste bin
who knew i had an expiration date
i didn’t realize until it was too late that you had decided
i would either fall into submission or be the first or second draft you sent to the shredder
you sucked every bit of marrow from my skeleton
you drained my life force every time my no’s were choked out and you heard “yes” instead

the thing about being caught in your undertow of your pirated ship is, i was bound to learn to swim or drown

• • •

Breadcrumb #425


When life gives you lemons,

You make what now?

Barefoot wanderers that play guitar and know where to find secret waterfalls?

Fermented, albino monsters hiding under the beds of traumatized children whose parents take them for granted?

What spells lemonade these days?

I’ve poured the cheap packets more times than I can count

I even got one of those fancy carafes

to make them feel like this was some real Southern hospitality shit

While I poured for them, the Monkey whispered in my ear

“Give them what they want. Use your gifts.”

His beard tickled me there

The guests thought that I was smiling for them

I was bending myself inside out for their consideration

I showed them all that I had, am, will ever be

Every single creation inside me

That was ever worth being seen

Mesmerized, they dabbed their lips

Said, “Very nice. Very nice indeed. Quite the experience. But,”

Where was the Monkey when I needed him?

Dabbed their lips again

“This isn’t what we ordered.”

I checked the powdery suspension

Tilted my head at the curious error

Where did I go wrong?

My lemonade was fresh, full of zest

Nothing like they’ve ever had

As pink as the Monkey’s tongue

that first whispered confidence

Before it turned sour

• • •