Breadcrumb #486

JACKIE ANDERSON

In the forestry, my mother would build
litttle cobby houses from empty cans,
all moss and aluminum, the floor
made of orange peels from Sunday dessert

If she could build it, she could escape to it

More metal and flowerless plants:
next to fern and broken lorries
as a factory girl, each evening,
she stuck her thumb out.

Even the men from the village
who picked her up and
kneaded at her thighs knew:
she will one day build her own island.

Blueprints that came from holding her breath in a tractor
while it flattened the bog, the windows damp,
inhaling her father’s tobacco in a locked closet,
or falling backwards into a bucket of boiling water

In those moments, when she dissolved,
she decided to start building, told herself
“you could float through metal
if you’re promised your own final spring”

Sometimes she asks me about the taste in her mouth,
she’s swallowed flintstone and peat,
but cannot scrape it off
with our tools or a prayer,

I take her hands in mine and braid our fingers together;
I make tiny little islands with our knuckles;
here we grow our own trees

• • •

Breadcrumb #481

CHELSEA FONDEN

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

convincing
you i loved you
was like underwater breathing—
a pterodactyl scared and flailing,
picture
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 #479

MEGHANN PLUNKETT

August in southern Illinois & we are drunk
    on everything but worry.  The tin boat we rented rocks
        under our recreation. Plastic wine glasses & gasoline

from the engine casting a rainbow across the man-made
    lake.  Boredom or something more brought us here
        to float on cotton candy inner tubes, a plastic unicorn

with a dumb cartoon eye toddles under my naked thighs,
    flank up to the fleshy sun. Look at how we are not animals -
        our teeth gnashing in fits of laughter,

my two hands crumbling a bag of potato chips.
    What we have evolved to: our lips puckering
        around a neon candy, our sunglasses skewing

the world darker.  & these two rocky bluffs,
    jutting out like an underbite, are a sharp surprise
        in between parched farmland.

When we arrived, a small printed plaque told us
    that the rocks were formed from glaciers.
        Water dripping for billions of years

just to bounce our base music back to us.
    Our small bluetooth speaker humming
        atop nylon & fiberglass.

& the state paid for this sulphur-dry earth
    to be dredged & filled with muddy water.
        Shadows of fish here & there

dumped weekly by Park Rangers just so
    twice-divorced fisherman can reel them in,
        pretending a kind of wildness.

& the birds chirp so loudly
    we think it is the ding ding
        ding of our phones.

& they find us
    large turkey vultures whooping
        down from the cliffs,

& we are blissed,  motionless, a beer bottle
    tipping in a limp wrist– our text messages
        whimpering out now & again

as these birds circles our plump bodies- waiting,
    waiting. They think we are dead,
        or that we may die very soon.

• • •

Breadcrumb #477

MARA SILVÉRIO

We take pills without prescription
because we own our body without restraint
being dumped it’s a starter that we eat
every single day, and we accept bad blood
his excuses and late nights so I growl inside
to not speak loud and hurt your stereotypes
of me without wide open legs, elbows on the table
talking easily and claiming my conquers.
"He's a whore, I offered him four beers
and two hours after we are having sex". Oh sex,
excuse me to have desire inside my mouth
with my permission and not yours. Don't push me
back and forward, and back again, you're my container
of disaster that's why I get high to flood useless power
that's why I raise my hand and I slap you in the face
that's why I can't take no more your indecisive breakups
your mellow voyeur fantasies, your new girls and texts
that's why we are Tinder, we are "the Tinder" of real life
even those who don't use it, we are the scroll ups and downs
the supermarket list, the blindfolded dates wrapped sometimes
in surprise and realness, when I wish I had met you before
without rain and six years of past, and Netflix series on the couch
and low cost tickets that get us everywhere we want to more
superficial artifices and filters, and cuts, and likes and unfollows
that's why I pour my wine and I watch porn as a blockbuster movie.
I don't do comparisons about my hips, if I'm skinny enough,
tall enough, sexual enough, pleasant enough, woman enough
as I'm counting the late acne marks:
is it smoother? less visible? less relatable to smoking one pack
of click cigarettes when the reason is being stressed
being under pressure, putting pressure, having my eyes balls
squeezed into screens of objectification and self-approval.
Self-approve my existence and see if I let you!
I'm not a established gender
I'm not a tag on my sexuality
I'm not a waitress serving your wishes and exploiting egos.
Too commented
too touched
too exposed
don't apologize for wanting to be apart of a neutral game
where woman is a chess piece formulated as a castle
full of walls but with doors too
don't apologize for getting laid
buying condoms and forgetting them beneath your mattress
with your socks and old lace bra
don't apologize for exchanging testosterone for estrogen
loving lakes instead of mountains, don't hike too much dear
without reaching the top, we're water, watering nature
full of walls but with windows too
where I can jump and hug ideologies
my hard-on for a man
for woman
for both
for libido as power
Just be libido.
Just scream libido.
And don't forget to touch yourself.

• • •