Cade Leebron

Sugar Water Bird Feeder

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

D— took his self and mattress downtown,
I lost track. Each drink a welcome haze. The tattoo
his body beat felt unlikely after a while, like:
would someone really get that across their chest?
How gauche. I bought a shitty glitter cake-topper
for my wedding, then D— appeared behind me.
The problem is I didn’t know how long
he’d been there, then he wasn’t. He is
hummingbird jackhammer, do you get
what I mean? How to build with words
the thing that makes him hover, turn above me,
bear down. Every time I see him a new gaslight.
Or: congratulations. Around me and D— the city
grew up too, became imaginary landscape.

Museum of Small Accomplishments

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

With some solstice in mind, holes in brain, I half-crawled
D—’s hometown, looking for ink. At the time I was after
solving an unnamed problem with a buzz behind my ear,
sharply vibrating skull inward. The bone has always been
good at retaining curvature, staying chipless. I managed
bloodstream, expectations, business as usual. The holes,
constellation mapping magnetically resonant essay of
mind, title: self as sieve. But at least I can tell you I tried
a bit to break bone, put sharp fragments into lesions. As if
tissue could exist for digging, filling. As if disease ever
went gentle, nameless. I can tell you I remained faithful
to the middle distance, the middle winter, some faith I
might needle myself into permanence, into a future life.

About the Author

Cade Leebron lives in Columbus, OH. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University, where she served as an editor at The Journal. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, American Literary Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She exists online at, and on Twitter, @CadeyLadey

Back to Poetry