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 #525

MARIE HANNA CURRAN

Travelling artist knocked today

Blinking twice I stood in awe
Captivated by my treasured glass
You swaggering up my path, two in tow,
Such exuberance in your presence 

Commanding my attention.

My world of me and me
Became a world of four,
Clapping hands I went from
View to view 

A shy girl behind closed doors
Peeping
As you took over my playroom floor.
The grass, the stones, the path

Was yours to browse,
While I inside, a prisoner of the day,
You my wonderful distraction
As you grazed and snoozed like me 

But roaming free.

Studying your skin like snow
Against the dying sun,
One eye on the smaller two
As they danced upon their stage,  

I was gloriously entertained within my cage
Glad to have stumbled upon your play.
Riveted I was, watching you.
Do call again. And thank you for today.

• • •