What It Costs

by Brett Firman

they stopped selling bread
over an hour ago
leaning over the slicer
crumbs and raisons
small fingers
between the blades
crumbs and raisons
and dave
lurking behind the cheesymites
watching her bend
those clingy
burgundy pants
polyester blend
made in Vietnam

empty centre
all but a few
older boys on skateboards
on her
through the glass

I’d cross your hot buns.

and a parade of laughter
dave guffawing
as he pounds the sourdough
dough smacking
the cold metal counter
shaking, shaking

Tills were down 35 cents.
I’ll be docking that off your pay.

but dave
has a hard
drive full of movies
at his place
have you seen shutter island
downloaded from pirate bay
if you want
you can come over
after work
and get some

She can never
get all the breadcrumbs
off her skin
out her hair
french baguette
seeping into the pores
red raw
her hardened skin
her hardened soul
in the cold shower
and only for
$8.59 an hour

Brett Firman is an emerging fiction writer and poet from Melbourne. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Monash University majoring in Creative Writing and is currently completing a Masters in Cultural and Creative Industries. Brett is a strong believer in the cathartic nature of writing; therefore, she draws inspiration from lived experience and incorporates everyday speech into her writing. Previous publications include Verge Journal, Coffin Bell Journal and Stylus Lit Journal.