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Breath & Shadow

Fall 2014 - Vol. 11, Issue 4

"Define Me" and "Decay"

written by

Jenna-Nichole Conrad



Poetry is writ;

Soft as the sky, static-charged with

Independent emotions dancing livewire steps

Through sunset slick veins.

And here is the poet, pen-stained

And naked in her thoughts. She has planted

A garden in her armchair;

It is time to harvest





There were hours before

the clock grew tired of routine,

hung it's hat on the doorknob, folded its arms

to lay down, fetal-like,

swept under fraying corners of the carpet:


Thoughts, they are peeled as scabs

from the Bottom of My Mind,

the Back of My Heart,

to be shuffled into the rest of the deck

And shredded--Lingchi by paper cut.


I remember at random intervals

triggered by simple, minimalistic pettiness:

bitter tinged whiskey smelling like summer,

the creak slam of lazy-hinged storm doors,

unshakable sea-salt sweetness grinding down between bicuspids--

A swollen tongue to a cavity-turned-crater,

if only as a stark reminder that the Decay

is spreading.

Jenna-Nichole Conrad is a semi-nomadic poet experiencing existence in the Boston area. She lives with Bipolar II, and, on the good days, considers it a source of creative inspiration.

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