Breadcrumb #513

CHLOE CRAWFORD LA VADA

I never think of you these days, down in the Beneath
where the sun cannot remind me – where the only light
that shines dazzles mistily from a disco-ball moon. 

Here, I wear the shadows like silk. I skinny-dip in the
River Lethe, the dead bumping against me like buoys,
forgetting you more and more with each lick of the waves. 

My midnight metropolis glows like a deep-sea fish,
nestled in the lowest dark of the Great Downstairs, where
everyone sees my true face, where I am proudly known as Queen. 

But, spring ruptures through winter’s rime and ruins
the oblivion of a peaceful, perpetual neon-night; it knows
that life must move on in its slaughter of cycles and seasons. 

In your world Above, beauty melts from my face like frost;
my real self withers, a bone-flower blooming in reverse,
unsewn from hearing the whispers of a name dead as dust. 

There, all I have buried returns to haunt me; even your mirrors
show a stranger with only the vaguest trace of me. I dream
of the day when the daffodils die and autumn claws ever closer.

 I wait for the leaves to wilt like lies, wait for the earth
to quiver and crack apart. I wait for the black, toothless mouth
of the ground to split wide and swallow me whole.

 Every roadmap of scars brings me back to a city, a cemetery,
where we lay in our graves - where everyone died long ago
in the eyes of our parents, our families, our friends.

• • •

Breadcrumb #509

JOSH DALE

Lavender spit in sink 
not a tooth misplaced 
not a soldier out of form 
bite the adobe trench
granular bones to pick 
the moss-earth out
the blueberries are abundant 
cover all tracks with magenta 
oil and dissimilar milk 
vanishing into nothing 
appearing on the third day 
mauve as apocalypse
drapes don’t match
so return for full refund 
or rip the carmine root 
and stem and here we are 
back to lavender spit 
and blueberry juice in 
the pit   keep staring for 
a sign
it won’t arrive tonight 

• • •

Breadcrumb #508

KIRSTY NIVEN

With your tyrian purple lanterns and fat gleaming berries, you mislead.
Little murderer, delicate prettiness is part of your ploy.

Deadly little thing, watching me from across the garden.
You beckon me, longing to induce twilight sleep.

The promise of a beautiful death lingers in your dark globules.
Those beady vigilant eyes penetrate my skin.

Your delirium infecting me from this considerable distance,
you long for my inevitable silence.

Dilate my pupils! Make me want you more!
Drag me in! I lust for your anaesthesia!

The numbness lying in your foliage is my sole desire.
You guarantee me it, knowing my need.

I require you to be truthful.
They say you wouldn’t betray a beautiful lady, but what of me?

You continue your examination of me, glaring through the green.
I don’t know when next you will strike.

Occasionally you fire a darting hallucination my way,
whilst wavering in the corner of my eye, monitoring my reactions.

Like the fates, you long to snip, snip away at my threads.
Macbeth’s tool – why did you force this fixation upon me?

I cannot turn my thoughts from you – your deathliness is all I see.
It’s all I seek. I cannot escape it.


• • •

Breadcrumb #505

GARY GLAUBER

There’s a vague sublimity to the whole endeavor.  
We could be anywhere or anyone.
Vacationers on rented time, casting reckless shadows.

Our boredom defines us like generational motto.
The last original movie was made thirty years before.
Everything animated has been updated to live action.

We are waiting for someone to bring our lives to action,
to remind us that friends are not merely extras,
actors for hourly hire eager for the security of work.

Together we explore sideline concepts of beauty
as related to a sad nearby water park.
We fear our own laughter while waiting in line.

This is a dark cloud of discovery:
your hillbilly past, my parental abandonment,
yet we toast our childhood challenges together

and float down what they call “the lazy canal,”
a twisted backwoods Fellopian nightmare
with trance music piped in.

This is as close to nature as we’ll ever get.
Our own natures as well,
though we both like watching the weather.

It’s a seasonal pilgrimage
undertaken like some Ambien incident,
forgotten instantly, except for the heat.

We’re the new artificial wilderness,
substance formed via connected stories
that vanish like meaning after a day.

In the end, there is nothing left
but two contiguous bodies
watching cloud formations

as they turn into messages
that foretell of a prescient world
where everything suddenly matters.

• • •