Two Poems by J. Bradley

Enrolling in the Human League

I’m writing you the perfect love song:
the beat a gasp from Lloyd Dobbler
while his stomach collapses
around my right fist, the lyrics
cut from your favorite magazines,
glued onto construction paper
that matches your eyes.

I’ll shave and dress so well,
my floor will wear your clothes
perfectly. You’ll remember
the tune, ignore our words.

I’m a restraining order disguised
as a love song. Watching every breath
you take is boring. I’m crossing
my fingers like lines.


The Gross Domestic Product of Sleep

If you look beneath my eyes,
you’ll find the only baggage
I’ll bring to our dinner table.

Exhaustion is my chief export.
I curl like blackening wicks,
speak in generic hotel coffee.

While you sleep, I prop myself
up on the bed like the letter ‘l’
after a stroke; I’m really good
at being an observation post.


J. Bradley is the author of Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You Is a Robot (Safety Third Enterprises, 2010), My Hands Are As Thick As Dreams (Patasola Press, 2011), and the e-chapbooks A Patchwork of Rooms Furnished by Mistakes (Deckfight Press, 2011) and Our Hearts Are Power Ballads (Artistically Declined Press, 2011). He lives at

Photo credit: sebastiansantanam8qnfs,

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