Two Poems by Lisa Krawczyk

The Poet Finds Themself in the Bottom of the Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Bag

The movie theater butter sticks to fingers:
greases your keyboard and pajamas, the flannel
blankets. Kernels rattle at the bottom. The whole bag
never able to fully pop. The steam that hits
your face is the spirit of the unpopped seeds.
Another night of steam and nutella to top
that which have sprouted
from the vacuum sealed bag. It sits
in the microwave and begins to breathe
as the kernels spring to life. The bag
injected with microwaves. Your brain
waves could never compare to Orville’s
torture. The bag is never empty,
only able to eat three-fourths of the bag.
How can you find yourself this way,
half eaten? Part satiation, part emptiness,
and a small part desire. Ready
to call it for the night.


Memories of Burdick

Remember the concrete of the first day
of public school. The new clothes—
a dress or frilly top. Elementary school
you try to find your place. Hugging
the wall in the cafeteria line. The silence
of the students and the chaos within.
Sitting in groups
waiting to go home. Every day
so similar to the next. Walking down
hallways you never forget. Milwaukee
public school. Tap dancing and theater
after school. (You never could stretch
even after months of trying, your stubborn
core). Band practice in the computer lab.
Failing home ec. Sleep overs that you dread.
Sleep overs you couldn’t live without. Going
to hockey games with your bestie of the week.
Remember pretending & failing to find
what you so craved to feel, the fitting
of your own identity. Mask your gender,
mask your ADHD. Mask the overwhelm
in your stomach and go forward.
No matter what: forward.


Lisa Krawczyk (they/them) is a poet currently based in the Midwest. Their poetry can be found and forthcoming in The West Review, Defunkt Magazine, In Parentheses, Periwinkle Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. They teach formal poetry for Gris Literatura.