"It Went to Toothpicks" by Jeff Weiland
your linoleum reflection
is a bit blurry and scuffed.
You feel every bit as walked over as your reflection,
every Nike and Payless stiletto itch at your cheeks.
Amongst dust bunnies and dirt specks
in the Walmart candy aisle,
you’ve been caressing a bag of Krave cereal,
breastfeeding it Porter’s All-American Whiskey,
licking at your tears to sober up.
Heartbroken by the twenty-seventh love of your life,
you’ll take that check-out boy if he makes eye-contact,
but he doesn’t
because you’re sitting on the ground
with a bag of soggy cereal
that smells either like sweet piss or chocolate,
and he’s too afraid it might be both.
God watches within the body of a lost four-year-old,
who’s drifted into the aisle of sweet temptations,
observing the downfall of man.
you placed a tourniquet
around your heart,
numbed yourself with the
spicy hot anesthetic of whiskey,
and pacified the bitter loneliness
with comforts of chocolatey Krave cereal.
Sweet lovesick surgeon,
might take years
to seal and stitch
every crack in your beating heart.
Krave cereal has always been good.
Mr. No. 27 doesn’t change that.
Christmas lights and starburst-colored tulips still make you smile.
You still trace constellations
with February fingers
and smell dawn before you wake.
Of course, it hurts in such ways
that there should be some undiagnosed hole in your body!
Of course, time seems elongated and sadistic!
sunsets are fuchsia gold,
and looking at the stars
makes you feel as if you are being
dangled by your ankles.
And you’ll wonder as you look
down into the night,
Does everything happen for a reason?
Is there a parallel universe where things turn out differently?
Was there one specific choice that led down this path?
The four-year-old stares and drools
a long drop of saliva reflecting your mascara tracks.
Perhaps if they one day face their twenty-seventh breakup,
they’ll inexplicably think of the Walmart candy aisle.
everyone’s staring at you in aisle 7.
Lisa Chu is an introverted performer of life. She aims to retire early from her lifelong career as a people-pleasing normie to pursue a new path of baring her naked truth through poetry. A forlorn lover of sunsets and Krave cereal, she is driven by her unsatiated hunger for self-discovery.
Jeff Weiland graduated from UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County in the 1980's and has always enjoyed photography.