Friday, February 3, 2023



YOU KNOW this street, you're safe, but

somehow the hushed houses, tilting

trees, bent shadows look unfamiliar.

You find your apartment, approach

the door, a chatty neighbor kid

trailing you. But your key, it doesn't

fit the lock. Maybe you don't live

here, says the kid. You try another

door, and this time —relief—the key

slides right in. You notice all the lights

are on, Frank Sinatra's voice purring

in the living room. Did you leave

music on? says the annoying kid.

In the bathroom, there's a young

woman in white scrubs. She's tending

three bodies on stretchers. Still

bodies—much too still. Who

are you? you demand.

Sanan, she replies. But I live here,

you declare, pushing the hardness

of the fact in her placid face.

Not now you don't, she states.

In the basement, you tell your story

to a cop, who nods politely.

When you begin to shout,

he gently places an open hand

on your chest. It feels like a bird,

warm and fragile. I'll look into it,

the cop tells you. Which stirs

more anger. Upstairs,

in the bathroom, you hear Sanan

tell one of the patients, Don't worry.

This place is now ours.


John Bradley

Dear Morpheus, The Glue That Is You

Dos Madres Press, 2023