Audrey Mardavich


Dear Daughter / I am eating dinner at Panera by myself / I am embarrassed about that but I am having a fine experience / The last time I ate here I got really mad / I made us all get out of the car / I threw my shitty salad in the grass

There are mostly tourists here / there is also a blind girl / she is eating from a giant loaf of bread / there are crumbs all over her face / there is no way to tell her this

The girl next to me is talking to her childhood dog on the phone / yes / I think the dog is about to die / she is saying goodbye to it / such a good dog / its name is Valentine 

Panera has these homing devices for delivering food / not buzzing plastic discs / this is a Global Positioning System that tracks you down and delivers you your shitty soup / A human delivers it / Someday you will experience the drudgery of this

No matter what anyone tells you / you have a choice to eat alone in a sticky booth covered in crumbs / plastic silverware covered in plastic wrap / there exists a utensil called a spork / invented for such uses as eating food similar enough to slop

My dear daughter / if I am to tell you anything important / it is that the world is full of shitty salads and shitty soups / strangers talking their dogs to death / Mark my words / I never want a single baby to witness any of this / If I could have it my way / I would walk backward / bring you to the end of the woods / sing you to life til the sun dies.


     For CA Conrad

The white concrete

a hatch    a freight- 
elevator closes
like a mouth

why am I always afraid? 
The rooms    and 
people in them

there is only    hidden 
geometry there is           

         nothing else  

mouth-breath,    yes 

wolves in the triangle  

I am so rarely alone.


This is a petition to change the sky just at the edge where it meets the brick wall, at the exact moment I look up from my seat by the window. This is a petition to re-draw the branches and remove the wivvering flags from the flagpoles. This is a petition to recollect my memories and perform them in acts. I continue to have dreams about the people I’ve lost and that is both a blessing and a curse. This is a petition to illuminate only the blessing part of that. The part that is a chimney jutting into the clouds. The part that is a copper cock ablaze. The part of the long, silent walk home when your mind flattens the asphalt. This afternoon I am an astronaut. This afternoon I am a bell hitting another bell.