Breadcrumb #522

MW MURPHY

today
I saw you
again
in the rain
in the bottom
of my coffee cup
in the puddled water
on Hester Street
today I breathed 
you in the 
film of rising smoke
of the fire pit
as
marshmallows
melted to brown 
and blackened glaze
breathed you
in the aftershave
lingering
in the space on aisle # 11
of CVS
today
I tasted your skin
all salty and burnt
on the windswept late summer
Chatham beach
in the heavy wet wind
on brine covered bits 
of broken seashells
scraping against bare feet
I tasted you 
on my own sweat
droplets
saw you
looking back
in my own mirrored
reflection
as showered fog
cleared
today
I saw you
again
in the windowed storefront
on East 9th Street 
you didn’t look back
when I hurried past
and when you turned
amidst the hipster faces
pushing 
at the charm counter
sale
it wasn’t you…

• • •

Breadcrumb #521

CATHERINE KYLE

The Angel of Disassociation taps at the sliding glass 
door and beckons. Behind her, the night sky

is velvet flecked with sharpened 
shards of gold. The girl rises 

from the computer chair, undoes 
the deadbolt, steps into cold air. Silent, 

the two of them pick blueberries 
that press against the fence. Their hands 

run sticky. Their teeth stain blue. Still chewing, 
they roll their cuffs, dip their feet into the pool.

The girl hugs her arms across her 
Sailor Moon shirt. Stares as her chipped neon toes 

kick, submerged. Says, Online, some guy 
just asked if I knew how to—
the angel lifts a finger 

to her lips. Shh, she says. She braids the girl’s hair, 
berry juice smearing strands. Do not let them 

strip you of infinity, she murmurs. Remember, 
you are like this.

The angel lowers one hand into the water,
rinsing until it is bare. Juice dissipates 

with the smell of chlorine. The rippling waves. 
The reflection of stars. 

• • •

Breadcrumb #520

SARAH BRIDGINS

I can deal with growing older 
as long as I also grow
more glamorous.

I want to have 
fake nails, fake boobs
and real furs.

There's nothing more glamorous than
smoking for your entire life and
never getting cancer.

As a child, I thought
my mother was glamorous. 
She only wore silver because she
said gold looked cheap, smoked
unfiltered cigarettes ringed with
red lipstick.

The last time I saw my mother was
two years before she died. 
She was haggard,
poor thin, not rich thin,
clutching a pillow to hide 
a non-existent paunch.
It was like she had molted
with age, shedding 
her silk nightgowns, heavy perfume
and emerging a pale callow.

Now my role models are: Dolly
Parton
Ru Paul
The beautiful murderesses on Columbo in
that order.

At a cabaret show,
I heard Justin Bond say
"It takes guts to be glamorous,"
before recounting a story about a woman who
cut her finger at a party
then bit off the dangling tip 
and spit it in the toilet.

• • •


Breadcrumb #517

GABRIELLA EVERGREEN

It was the summer we took the RV to a campground in Florida
(or maybe it was Vermont)

We sat in the back, me and my two brothers
where Andrew had once dropped a McDonald’s cheeseburger between the seats
I remember the sound of your shouts
and your fists coming down on his head
but anyway,
We were watching a VHS tape of Disney’s Robin Hood when the crash happened
We didn’t notice until the car was spinning and flipping
(at least we remember it flipping)
and landed off the side of the highway
the overhead compartments spilled out
a butter cookie tin full of crayons
rained down on us
a container of milk shattered on Nick’s head (he still has the scar)
Your miniature motorcycle fell against mom’s leg
marking it black and blue
she always hated that bike it was black and yellow and heavy
We don’t know what caused the crash (your anger?)
or what happened after (your anger)
I just remember the campground once we got there
the way the light from the lanterns and campfires of scattered tents
half-illuminated the woods
as we walked through the thick trees
shining flashlights on roots and stumps
looking for the source of the bullfrog’s croaks
but only finding a spot where some kid
had spilled a bowl of Froot Loops
which glowed in a puddle of graying milk
and the sound of a man playing guitar
singing Puff the Magic Dragon

We didn’t know that mom never wanted you to get the rental car or to finish the trip
how unhappy she must have been the whole time
We can’t really be sure
what the bruises
were ever from

• • •

Breadcrumb #516

MICHAEL TAGER

He might as well be 
a poor

None of his reruns play on any station
He knows because this time share
Always has power
And the waves outside the floor-to-ceiling windows
Never cease their chatter
So he plays the TV endlessly
Swipes left on phantom phone
Skip-skip-skipping
Swipe-swipe-swiping
Skip-skip-skipping channels
It’s endless being dead
And the mirror is only empty space
He just wants to see the apple face
that minted his fortune
one last time
on his way out
whenever that is

Please. Come and knock.
Please. Come and knock. 

• • •