There’s a Winehouse In Your Soul

The gravity of Sambuca alters migration patterns. Yesterday, a name smacked against the window, the bleed of each letter a trickle. Today, a comma guts the hot water heater. Refrigerator shelves pang. Tomorrow is a phone booth with a broken door. J. Bradley is the author of the forthcoming graphic poetry collection The Bones of […]

Poet’s Guide to Science: The History of the Second

You hear them on NPR, read them on websites, store them for cocktail parties and first dates. Every second: a hummingbird’s wings flap 80 times. Thunder rumbles 1,100 feet. Four to five people are born; two die. At least 100,000 chemical reactions fire in your brain. You lose about three million red blood cells; your […]

Zeitgeist (A Foul Effluvium This Way Comes)

1. The cardboard box is longer than wide, wider than deep, and it’s dragged out into the middle of the floor where a team of six adults is given the task of opening it and assembling the contents (a bike) 2. In this instance a small group of adults is given twelve pieces of uncooked […]

The Road to Avery

Uncle Roger is at the bend again, right on the rim of the road before Cow Camp runs into the Newland Tree Farm. He waves at my car as it drives past, but he is in the sunset. I wish I were older, sitting with him, with no place to go but wherever my feet […]

Doll

In the attic, I cut off my Ruthie doll’s blonde hair to make her look more like me, to see if her golden locks will grow back. She wheezes when she breathes. I pick two broken crayons from the floor and scribble on her left cheek the blue-black of a bruise. She recoils, looks up, […]

Unemployment Diary, Day 16

I hold the remote just so, it feels like her indifferent wrist. Television is the oven I rest my head inside. My own tragedy splits in two when the TV star’s fiancée is stolen by his evil twin. (Same actor, but the evil version is somehow more handsome) Our clubbed hero wakes, wanders the new […]

Tongues, speaking in

In our house, I wake to the random rolling of R’s in a sing-song voice, mom’s voice, a terse and rapid repetition of th-th-th-th. In our house, for her, this is prayer and if I go to see about breakfast and her eyes are closed and she’s wailing the answer is cereal. Do not worry. […]

Nix

the sky rolls by acres & acres of blue wind swept sheets dappled by skeletal wisp teased cotton clouds clumsy footed down here I collect the teeth lost on my last bet never was a good gambler golden days behind me the cold whistles through dark pines brooding on my ass gumming old wounds in […]

Renaming the Roads

The unit we replaced had named the roads in our AO after porn stars. We enjoyed those first mission briefings probably a little too much: So we’ll turn on Ariel, the lieutenant would say, then go down on Jenna… We came to know every curve and blind spot and pothole of Jasmine, Paige, Britney and […]

Up Ahead

Asphalt meets gravel like a mountain birthing a river, an alarm clock. A truck lugs shaking crates, the bed secure as boulders smoothed from running engine parts across three states: mountains, desert, water. The path plays a georgic game, plows mud divots. A recent storm set traps for anyone who slows emboldened into pastures long […]

Halve This

Since a man in a car over a centerline changed what we mean by sister your eyes are ashes in my palm. I can only think of your hair now, the red of our father as a girl I wanted to put my hands in its clouds. That man we shared, half sister you knew […]

birdie fly, birdie stay

when voices hush, the night lies down, tucks itself under a bulky plaid quilt. you’re wrapped in sleep, snoring lightly, as coco saunters in from the rain, meows, disappears behind an armchair. i get up from bed, move hastily about the room like a thief, stuffing a sweater, a scarf, two nectarines into a rucksack. […]

Dear Melody

The stage too can be a disguise. The light catches the glittered bow in your hair and the auditorium is all sparkle, no shadow. But everyone knows that shadow is where the living happens. Where loss cuts its teeth on our lungs. The acupuncturist who lives down the street says our lungs are organs of […]

Translate Me to Another World

“With strangers in your line?” – Marina Tsvetaeva, from “New Year’s Letter” I. Into and across my words must travel, yet they stop, then mix up within each other. I want a spare, clean line – I am so warm and so thirsty. II. You come from a place that is different from my place. […]

On the Road

Through blue highways and heads hung in shame we wisped away and whisked history down the drain with whiskey to make us feel okay, maybe flush us numb until our lips were pale and we couldn’t stop from falling down and our tents were soaked through and through in the morning fried steak and eggs […]

Quiet

[two_third]ТИХО Няма ги нашите майки – излезли да купят нещо вкусно и не се върнали Няма ги нашите бащи – отишли на гробовете на бащите си и там останали Няма ги братята и сестрите ни – хукнали да намерят майките и бащите си и се загубили Няма ги и децата ни – убити на тръгване […]