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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2013 - Vol. 10, Issue 4

"Choosing Between the Long Jump and the Short Drop"

written 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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