Madison Adams

Ode to Cinnamon Toast

The bestial embodiment of
Sleek, glossy commercial spice product creature
A joyously contracting
Baked flour and water multicellular organism

Sparking auburn pelt stretched tight
Over sinewy, flexing, lengthy limbs
Trotting giddy, posh
Crushed bullion dust irises
Blown into dazzling yellow whirlwinds
Of luminous speckled dust rings

You are:
Fly hunter, sun bather
Between the leg wedge, addict of fecal matter
6:00 PM floor dancer, a cheek to rub my face on
My co-workers tell me you’re getting old
Your mother calls you “brat”

Upon Becoming a Patron of L.A. Metro Transit…

I am bruised knees
Blue veins
Forced smile
Fishing bait

“Hey baby, you want a ride?”

I am walking
Bus stopping
Always waiting

I am South Central Welfare Center bus tokens
Rusted hand rails
Ugly scars
Cracked knuckles

“Do you know when the bus comes?”

Comb my hair
And slit my wrists
Standing never sitting
Always standing
On my feet
Is on my knees
Grease the pole
Hold on tight

Well, I’m waiting…

Getting a Way

Cigar cutter arms
Reaching, ever reaching
But are they mine
Or yours?
There’s nothing to do
There’s nothing I can do
Just leave me to myself

He emotes so hard
It’s so hard to emote
Slammed doors
Shut mind
Heavy with pain
In his knees
In his brain
Pulls him under
Waves crashing, crunching
My body
Keeps getting thinner
He holds my head under
He is a strong swimmer

I attempt to align my aches with his
For every one of his nightmares
I have a memory
For every panic attack
A physical assault
I consider propping up his bruises with my scars
We could build a church
Or a bar
Structured out of bullet holes
Supported by columns of razor burns

I buy a plane ticket instead
I build wings from all my tickets
I build a house, a home, a car, a manicured lawn
A husband, 2.4 kids, a dog, memberships with Al-Anon
And yet I still have leftovers
To share
With all the angels of this city

But oh, what a pity
That audacity
Is not the same as love
Diseased pigeons don’t count as doves
He said,
“Baby, it’s all in your head”
I said,
“Yeah, well, that’s what I’m afraid of.”

I am a runaway woman-girl on the loose
Dodge bullets, dodge compliments
Slide out of my noose
There’s nothing I can’t do
I’ll just leave you to yourself
I’ll just leave you

I am notorious
Notoriously hard to get
I will always be the girl who finds a way
The woman who gets her way
The one who got away
Just in time