Breadcrumb #530

SARAH BRIDGINS

I miss my father the most
when I'm hungover.
I want him to tell me it's okay
to be a mess,
to spend a day not knowing
if you want to eat the world
or throw it up,
crying at videos of kittens
rescued from garbage cans,
and then at yourself
for being the worst kind of sick,
the kind where no one
feels sorry for you.

 I want him to tell me
I'm not like my mother
who drank until
there was no one left
to tell her not to,
who drank until
my father stopped,
because one of them
had to be sober enough
to keep a baby alive.

 Last night, I sat on the sidewalk
outside of the bar,
head spinning, waiting
for my friend to pay.
A man walked toward me,
and I watched, paralyzed,
too fucked up to ask
what he wanted
or stop him
if it came to that.

 As he passed by
I thought of the book I was reading,
It by Stephen King,
how the monster takes the form
of its victim's greatest fear,
and scared myself.

• • •


Breadcrumb #529

JARED PEARCE

The needs creep
like the crabgrass, emerald
puddles in the dying lawn,
or like the daisies
she planted years ago
which we kept stabbing
and which every spring
snapkick the mower.

I put my weight on
my strong leg and leap
to a head start: I’ll do
what I want before the needs
tug like gravity, a riptide
I paddle against and am
swept to sea, where I’m made
by the struggle, like a man

home from wars
and travels, babbling
monsters and nymphs,
witches and gods,
the crash of the surf like
a man wanting and deciding
the care of the world
is what needs to get done.

• • •

Breadcrumb #527

WILL KENTON

Does a thread care what the tapestry looks like?
It does feel the pull of the shuttlecock --

Our love for you holds the four of us together
Tight and wound -- as we are -- you bind us.

You take it as a given, this text I’ll tell you --
Our yarn, drawn from threads -- microscopic

Dyed some of us all one color, others bleeding
From brilliant to subdued, from the spindle to the shears.

This love, a single string woven through many,
Makes our fabric taut. Stretched across the loom, we vibrate

And which of us strings feels the cool rush,
The soft hissing of the three sisters’ scissors?

A sound that reminds me of waves caressing
A pebble beach; the rush of blood in my ears.

In the morning, in the hour before dawn
I feel my way to the bathroom, tense in my throat

To cough spittle and phlegm in the sink.
We two, entangled in the warp and the weft,

Are dual strands in the great web of purple linen
On which distant dreams are figured.

• • •

Breadcrumb #523

ADRIAN ERNESTO CEPEDA

“Everything you love destroys itself. Until it doesn’t. Until it lays bare.”

—Joanna C. Valente 

Although my hair flows
hanging on either side 
of my shoulders enduring 
like unwavering soldiers,
fuck the fatigues, I wear 
black on the outside
to hide all the verbal bruises
you conflicted on the inside–
I don’t want to show my skin,
no low cut, nothing tight,
baggy to hide everything 
I once exposed to you.
When you see my eyes,
do you picture desperation?
No longer… Watch me 
strip, survivor bold, witness 
every layer, every negative hold, 
I unhook, unzip and tear off— 

You can never destroy me. 

I know you always still try 
to redial me, now I leave you 
hanging… can you feel me 
now and all the ways you 
tried to display me during
the most dreadful uptight parties—
the mantle trophy affection object, 
but I was no hors d'oeuvres,
You neglected me as the main 
course and dessert. Still hungering 
for me, missing the way you tried
ball and chain me, I preferred whips
and chains, you restrained me— 
no more of my hair tangled 
in your fists. Now, focus 
your craving grip feel me blinking 
loudly, those nights so bored my eyes 
made out with the moonlight 
as you just laid there, always 
demanding you wanted me 
on top, always remember… 
every time, I spread, 
overriding you—
I came for me. 

• • •