Breadcrumb #481


you wanted
a propeller with tiny shoulders,
a fury stirred with purpose, unwrecked
winter light 

did i ever earn the right
to enjoy the fruits
or the labor, participation
trophy lips
and hands like spades

you i loved you
was like underwater breathing—
a pterodactyl scared and flailing,
the sound that would make

 one day i’ll have a spaceship
in my wallet,
a love
deep-creased from unfolding 

when i recall our monsters
i think of alligator waters,
a banner unfurling
in rented wind

there’s no gingerbread trail, but
what i’m saddest about
is the way you clothes-lined, gray and
giving up the fight

• • •

Breadcrumb #476


I remember the color of air before I was about leave my least favorite bar in Bushwick when you called out to me 

I liked to pretend I didn’t believe in Love back then

some nights I got on my knees and tried to cut at her with my own flesh

I swore and blasphemed her, defending the nightmarish gift that hisses at my veins

the moon witnessed the whole thing

to give up on Love is to assume the position of a shell and embrace the hollow fierce wind that takes up in the soul

howling obscure and indefinable; where does she reside?

you called out to me and I could feel her quiet breath on my neck

she never did turn away, but let me throw my fits

and timelessness laughed

and ignorance wept

we introduced ourselves right there in front of everyone because even strangers respect the beauty in hope

my hand touched your hand in a formality  

then my hand to my mouth, because I had to double check—

it was a smile

 • • •




Breadcrumb #453


She tastes it as her tongue slides around the inside of his mouth. Stench’s sharpened nails weave into each thread of her jacket as his palms embrace her cheeks, his fingers caressing her ears.

“How does it taste?” His finger traces the back of her left shoulder blade and up into the bottom-lining of her hair.

She says nothing as he takes another hit, placing the lit pipe back in the empty box. “That’s not safe,” she mumbles softly; her bottom lip crushes in between his teeth, his breath –sour and sweet.

“How is this not safe?” His eyes display curiosity while his fingers mock safety as he packs the pipe again.

Her cheeks heat up. The seat, surrounding, swallows her. Her eyes and shoulders follow

the passing lights of a car on the street.

    His fingers trace each vertebrae of her spine, from the bottom to the top, meeting the bottom-lining of her hair once more. Tangling clumps of her hair in between his fingers, his hand massages her scalp – right below her crown.

“There’s only one thing that I can think of that will make you even more beautiful than you are right now.” Her head parallel with her left shoulder; his hand still rubbing, in circular motions.

She leans in closer, staring at his lips. His smile slips from one cheek to the other. She can feel his breath stroking the hair of her upper lip.

His fingers trace each vertebrae of her spine, from the bottom to the top, meeting the bottom-lining of her hair once more.

“What would make me more beautiful?” Her gentle words slowly feed into his open palm.

“If you take this from this box, put it to your mouth, and breathe in.” His soft smile stints a smirk.

She readjusts her head back towards the window, yet her hand migrates around her – a simple signal of acceptance.

Knowing what is at risk here, “Sure.”

She rubs her fingers against the tread of the lighter, igniting it to life, combining flame and plant to produce ash and smoke.

It rushes with striking attacks against her throat. The smoke sending signals to cough, but she resists, refuses to let him see her weak. Holding it in only makes it worse; her tear ducts filled to their rim.

His eyes dart back; she lets it go.

His eyes dart forth. “Another hit?” She stares at his lips with an impulse that beats against the desire of saying no.

Before pain and release can break free of their wet chambers, he rushes in for the rescue. His lips against her lips, he sucks in the smoke, birthing it into the world.

“How does that feel?” His fingers stroke her hair behind her ear. “Tell me how you feel?” His words bounce around an empty mind, echoing with pings and pongs.

He pushes himself forth for another kiss, another make-out session, and she begins falling deep. “I feel amazing.” She spills into existence. “I love it.”

He continues to feast on this, giving her more kisses. Her hands now wrapping around the base of his head, pulling him in closer. One tongue fights to suffocate the other. Soft moans purposely slip; she kisses deeper into him. His bottom lip now her teeth’s new toy – gently pulling on it. His hand reaching up the back of her shirt, fidgeting with the conjoined bra strap. Her laugh fills their combined mouths.

She lets go, pushes back. “Tell me what else can make me beautiful?” He smirks again, but he doesn’t answer. He continues to stroke that one clump of hair behind that one ear.

For her, there’s no anticipation; no desperation for an answer, but she detaches herself from his embrace.

Her cheeks inflamed, but there is no worry. The seat stops swallowing her. Her eyes gaze into his, and she smiles. He’s a fool to believe it’s real.


The smallest hand ticks loudly in the hallway as it crosses ten – eleven – twelve past two o’clock in the morning, just returning home from work.

She freezes; her father is in the living room.

He says nothing. Eyes are glued to the television. It’s Family Feud again. In his hand, she sees his pen and his yellow legal pad. That legal pad that he uses to play along with this game on television.

She goes onto her room, rips off the clothes that reeked of sweat and grease, and hides it at the bottom of her hamper.

Sitting bare-naked on the toilet seat and waiting for the shower’s water to heat up, she scrolls through her messages until she hits the last one, the last conversation dated for October 8th, 2016.

This is such a hard question to answer, but if you weren’t so lucky, darling, to have me in your life. ;)  Haha. But you’re cute when your eyes stare into mine after I’ve irritated you, but words can’t describe what makes you beautiful.

He had taken a long time to answer her question after he had dropped her off back at home, and it was in a text.

Her thumbs rub against the keyboard on the screen as she continues to read the last message that she didn’t know would be the last, Stupid Answer.

Tears run down her cheeks, catch themselves at her nose, but quickly drop to her screen.

He died in a car accident that night. Some drunk asshole ran through a stop light. T-boned his driver’s side door. The impact immediately killed him.

She throws her phone onto her bed, drops her towel, and lays on the floor. The last night in the car with him on a continuous loop of replayed memory in her head.

She groans to herself and wraps her body around the pillow she dragged down with her.

Her phone buzzes, but there is no budge, no desperation that draws her to see who wants her attention, so late in the night.

Headlights pierce their nails across her ceiling, distracting the candle light of her room with its beam of light.

She gets up off the rug, puts on clothes, plucks her phone from her thick sheets, places it on the charger and heads to bed.

• • •

Breadcrumb #387


Shall I build you a castle by the lake? Pack stone-filled mud into bright coloured plastic to shape its foundation. Should I splash through the cold water and pick pretty pink stones to decorate its walls? Do everything like the first time. I will call you Queen and address you as your Majesty or your Grace. I will bow. I will kiss your hand and we will laugh. We will laugh and hear the high-pitched echoes of our youth. I will feel the ghost of nerves and excitement wondering if I should kiss you. If you would like that. Would you still like that? The wind picks up and your hair moves with it. It whips from right to left. You push it from your face. Small lines near your eyes are the only visible changes from then to now. It is the face I wake up to. The first thing I see every morning when I open my eyes, but here it all feels new again. I want to ask you if you feel that too, but the way you are staring out at the water stops the words. I don’t want to break your concentration.

Small lines near your eyes are the only visible changes from then to now.

    Shall I search the rocky shore for flat stones? Brush the dirt from their sides and pile them high so that we can spend the afternoon defying gravity skimming the water. I tried to impress you that day, but my first three tries landed with a heavy splash as if I had just opened my hand and let them fall. I could see the laughter pushing against your lips longing to be let loose, but you held them closed. Probably to protect my ego, but then you stepped forward and skipped your first stone three almost four times. I had hoped to step behind you and guide you like all the teenage boys in our year imagined doing. But there you were standing behind me, trying not to laugh as you showed me how to flick my wrist just right. There was so much laughter that day. I don’t know when we lost that. It would be easy to say that it died with him. Harder to admit it flickered out long before he existed. I want to ask you if you are thinking about him, but the tears in your eyes answer for me.

    Shall I strip down and run quickly into the rippling water shivering until my body warms against the cold? The sudden exposure of flesh would send giggles past your lips. I would try not to shiver too noticeably so that you would come and join me. You would scream and laugh all the way in. You would wrap your arms around me and we would be happy again. We would let go of everything that has happened. We could do that you know? Here in the place where we started, we could start again. We could end our suffering and become new from our tragedy. After months of silence we could scream. Scream into the wind. Scream until our throats taste bloody. Let loose the pain, the anger, and the quiet that has settled between us. We could come together in this expulsion. Or will this be the end? Is this stop the setting of our conclusion? Will we build our castle by the lake? Or will we say goodbye in the place our little prince never got to see? Well – What will it be?  

• • •

Breadcrumb #386


I still have the dead bouquet
from the wedding we went to
together in November. You
were the most handsome
woman there—your pants
grabbed at the places you
sought to conceal and I wore
that slip I got in France.
All the while wondering
what it must feel like to glide
on black ice towards the alter
in the parking lot I said “absolutely”
to smoking a joint in the car, responded
quite vaguely to your concerning gestures.

The stars are relentless flecks, I thought.
We joked about stealing the flower
arrangements and toyed with the idea
of marrying in the woods. We would
have no shoes and you agreed to wear
linen and I would just wait to feel good
in something with gauze. You only
casually noticed how I left at certain songs
or how I’d tense a little when the mother
delivered her “I can’t believe how beautiful -
you are” speech. The truth is, only you
noticed. Now the hydrangeas guard the
window in our apartment, reflecting stain –
colored sun. Mimicking silk,
they used to live once.

• • •