Issue 6 / Poetry

Poetry by Cade Leebron



I’m building a nest to give birth to nothing in. I’m ripping fur from

my chest like rabbits do. I’m down with down. I’m your dream

girl but only if you stay up all night thinking about other stuff.

Instead we are the rotten flat basketball on the playground

across the street from my parents’ house. The county had to

sell that elementary school. They rearranged the letters to say

center. There is no limit to creativity. Creative is another word

for cheap. You only love if you let yourself do that. Rodents have teeth

that grow forever. I learned that stuff behind the building that’s now

the center of nobody’s universe. Between a bike rack and a brick

wall I grew not up but in. You didn’t ask about that, now you can

be clueless forever. Heartbreak is I chisel open your chest and find it,

to make sure you have one, and then my hand slips. Heartbreak is

a weird joke. I’m just a garden-variety rodent to you. Pick one.

You say rabbit, bunny, you like those ears I wear. And how

do I feel about dark lipstick? Actually, I want to tell you, a rabbit

is this other thing, a lagomorph. But never mind. The rain wasn’t

some big metaphor. It was only raining. I didn’t get on the bus

like I told you I would. I just wanted to walk a little farther away.





Those snap-happy rubber sex bracelets

& little bruises underneath—

Hiding out in across-the-street woods,

scattering fairy seeds for serial killers.

& maybe I am tiny small, five-dollar

word girl,


or maybe I don’t speak.


Just pack a bag & run away to around

the block, & only once

hide out in a beanbag.

I am singing loudly, until mom

says, Shh, we’re working, eat a

Pop-Tart & don’t enrage your brother.


His ears all red like baby girl love,


pure & receiving.




Once upon a little boy on a beach there was

a log and he was dead, very crushed, bones all

shattered into pieces. The blanket they wrapped

his little self all up in is one I have been under

since, playing sex corpse for little boy’s brother.

Staying to see where the man carries me, and don’t we

all wonder? The answer is bones in bits. Friends call

him axe murderer but he seems like more of a strangler

to me. In possum logic I call it addiction. Define that

word, please? I swallow pills to stay. Don’t we all?

I swallow swoop away from him on an airplane,

live a little longer each time.




Cade Leebron is earning her MFA in nonfiction at The Ohio State University, where she serves as associate nonfiction editor at The Journal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Brevity, Inside Higher Ed, Yemassee Journal, The Boiler, Midway Journal, HYSTERIA, and The Manifest-Station. She can be found online at or on Twitter @cadeyladey. Selected by Dawn Lundy Martin.

Image © David-O via Flickr Creative Commons.