Bad Survivalist: Three Little Things by Leigh Chadwick

Bad Survivalist: Leigh Chadwick

Skinny Kids

Skinny kids touching light with their tongues pressed against the sun. Skinny kids with half their teeth gone. Skinny kids with an assembly line of ribs and souls and hearts and sometimes lungs, and mostly always earlobes. Skinny kids watching a dodo run a lemming off a cliff. Skinny kids with half their teeth gone, the other half kernels of corn, wobbly like a drink on a slanted sidewalk, tripping over a weed eater to the calves folded into a cabinet with a lock, gray water sipped by the milliliter. Skinny kids emptied. Skinny kids with ice on their legs, ice on their stomachs, ice between their legs and stomachs.

Matt Damon Grows a Tomato in a Field of Red Dust

You quit the cigarettes about a year ago because you can’t light a Parliament in space and besides you said you wanted to live forever with lungs the same lungs that you used when you said you love me now and now in a million years as we stood under the Florida sun and listened to the rockets warm Cape Canaveral and I pressed my palm against your lungs those same lungs you used that morning when you said stay in bed a little longer and then stay in bed a little longer after that and I did because of course I did and then you said hold on Houston is calling and I asked all of Houston and you said why not and I agreed why not and then you kissed my nose and my left cheek but not my right cheek and as we continued to stand under the Florida sun and the rockets began to shake and cough I wanted to ask why didn’t you kiss my right cheek and did we close the garage door or give the dog fresh water before we left this morning I can’t remember but there wasn’t time to ask because you were already skylark a trail of smoke following you as your spaceship headed to another spaceship that would circle the moon for no other reason than so you could say you circled the moon.

Based on a True Story

Once upon a time love was a polka dot dress and a drawing of a cave on the inside of a cave. The polka dot dress and the cave drawing touched everywhere. They touched under streetlamps. They touched in empty parking lots and they touched in crowded parking lots. They touched on roller coasters and in the middle of driving ranges, the golf balls bouncing off them like mosquitos. They touched while standing in line at Starbucks, and they touched while standing in line at Target. They touched on top of the sheets they bought after standing in line at Target, and they touched under the sheets they bought after standing in line at Target. They touched while they were touching. It was a sweaty touch. A pizza for breakfast touch. A rain from the leaking roof touch. They touched until they were so thirsty they drank the rain from the leaking roof of touch. They touched after they drank the rain from the leaking roof. They touched until they made themselves thirsty again.

Leigh Chadwick’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Milk Candy Review. She has recently completed a novel and can be found on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5.


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