Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

Fall 2013

Volume 10 Issue 4


Choosing Between the Long Jump and the Short Drop

By Cody Vander Clute

every morning the clouds rise
the sun too behind
the blackout curtain
but it is
crawling grey
mist that gets me up
and looking
for the batteries
for my ears

how does it work
he asks
the old question

does he want to know
not having the signs for
talking with me will stop
the mystical union
of being wet and sticky

lights out
a bad idea


does he want to know
my jigsaw chest
wide cuts pink going white
and the parts below named
depending on the night

actaeon arrested mid
without anybody to finish the story

so it is
a swing dance contest
with ankles weighed
his mouth a trap
door ready to open

his hound teeth
rip chew the answers
wanting a toy
not a challenge
sometimes it is
better to go home alone

"Choosing Between the Long Jump and the Short drop" was previously published in Volition, Fall 2012.

Cody Vander Clute is an undergraduate at George Mason University. His poetry has appeared in Volition and Collective Fallout.

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