“Cutting Bread” (poem by a woman I just wrote fan mail to).


The poet’s name is Shannon Burns. I searched all over the internet for her and finally found her on goodreads of all places. I wrote her a message because I bought her little book in Chicago and I love it. The look of it, the size, the poems. But whoever checks their goodreads messages? I didn’t even know there was such a thing until this week. But I hope she reads it and thinks I’m crazy-in-a-good-way. I like her poems. Here’s one:


Cutting Bread


I could be cutting bread. All the sharp knives

are dirty, ragged edges, sesame seeds on my hands,

on the sticky counter, on the cool floor. They could bloom.

But I am swinging, feeling the slight curve of my back


against the wood, feeling my face flush and numb,

watching movement in windows. People are cutting bread.

Their sticky hands live in cabinets. Mine are hot and full

of blood, melting watermelon candy in my pockets.


I am making noise. People cut bread to the rhythm

of my creak and whine. Weeks ago the wind blew

a child’s pool in the shape of an elephant over the wood

fence. You can see it from the road. Some day


it will be warm again, I think.  I think: joints, gums, children,

knowing where to go. I remember this swing overturned

in the yard, my father painting it green. I remember standing

at the kitchen counter with my mother, cutting bread.




click to hear her reading her sweet little poem “What’s the Scoop?” on the jubilat site!

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