Breadcrumb #501

EMMA FURMAN

Lickety-split, I was benighted. Sore-
throated, shriveled seeds spilling out
of my wound, red as pomegranate,
as many in number. I was a sliver
of silver shot into a passing duck,
then falling and fished out between still 
beating wings. I was caught in a truck
and corralled by a clown, blind bucking
until the crowd went off, roaring.
I was under the heel, blown out
of the boot bottom. I was a willing gear,
teeth fit superbly into the tines.
I was not a sheep, but future shank.
I was watching through the bars,
looking in at someone else. I’m not the visiting
caroler, singing outside, but the dog of the house
trembling and whining. What am I now?
I'm calling home. In fact, I am the phone.

• • •

Breadcrumb #494

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 Fallopian 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.

• • •

Breadcrumb #491

MONCHO ALVARaDO

I held forty years of woman in my hands
feet blazed copper from ten hour shifts,
I would massage Vaporub, feel each crack,
scrape, cut, blister, sneaker mold & corn

Ama’s breathing: a bouquet of air
longing, a bloom I learned
from her with every breath:  
a simple forever   

hands a dusk, open   
nothing, save possibility  
when she would dinner:
pieces of meat with bone, water,  

chile verde sauce: savory in shades,  
the bone velvet on my tongue, opens
to marrow: coarse and soft like soil,   
I sucked the dying   

& let go of words:  
a nakedness in hot desert,
brilliant rays bleed on me
the ritual of sacrifice,  

a towards, a refusal,
a never, a courage,   
born with all this, oh
Ama, I’m still
learning  

light exhausts into everything,  
expecting nothing back

• • •

Breadcrumb #438

MICHELLE WHITTAKER

Down-and-Out sleepwalk
hand-in-hand like two lone star ticks
found buried above the sternum.

Watch them trance.
Watch them yawn
wilderness into a nighttide.

Often, Down-and-Out transmit
their anesthetic touch to the other, although
they decided not to conceive children.

But how might they continue
traveling turpentine bloodlines
in this bog-iron island?

Watch them headtrip.
Watch them overthink as a single them,
strobing through the pinelands

while gorging into the sand gully
of pine tar and vanishing foxes.
Watch them no longer concerned

they might split as they release
care about the rocky beaches
former self. The glacial physique.

When Down-and-Out exchanged vows
sub-secretly just like the late-stage
of Lyme disease, who also understood

what it means
on trying to stay together
in sickness and in helpless,

even when 12,000 years tried
putting in a bright repeat
of parental advice about sustainable living,

perhaps from the supervening
or superstitions, they woke their wishes
to un-hear the veracious warnings.

• • •