J. Bradley is the author of The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective (Pelekinesis, 2016) and the Yelp review prose poem collection Pick How You Will Revise A Memory (Robocup Press, 2016). He lives at jbradleywrites.com.
The Ribcage Goes To A Funeral, But Not To Say Goodbye
This former lover had more courage than you
by leaving his face behind, his bathroom wall
wearing what was left of his smile. The ache
settles in his vacancy.
You understand why he could no longer stand
to be landlocked; he thought there was a god
somewhere who could love him like you
and his other past lovers could not
or would not love him.
You wait until the rest of the mourners leave
to skitter up to the casket. You caress it the way
you caressed his body in the dawning light.
You fight the weight of grief from your tips;
this coffin is his one chance to be perfect.
The Ribcage Explains Why It Never Votes
Your latest lover asks whether you voted today
and you don’t say anything. He asks you again;
you don’t say anything. You feel his eyes
trying to harvest you for shame, his mouth
a firing pin. You ask: what’s changed?
He answers: I can love you in public.
You ask: why don’t you?