David Bradford

uncle tolliver’s tradition

but when we come up
…..on the cyclical impasse
back underground at old mill

when petey and his peak wicker
…..ensemble insist on making ours
an intimate seating arrangement

when they twang up the whole
…..breadth of the subway car’s
dispersing not me audience

when they don’t lose it
…..as much as loose
their good private shit

breaknecking their way
…..to what might be
the right kind of station

tangentially at a loss and circling
…..in and staring me down
and received and open

to not stopping at all
…..when I nod my fucking head
till they get off at islington

when I keep their mouths going
…..and they transfer with me
up on the airport rocket

and we take it to the bridge
…..baby turn our shit to change
on my last sweet token when

I forget everything they said
…..I keep the one secret
growing so good and big

I pray to quote myself on it

David Bradford is the author of Nell Zink Is Damn Free (Blank Cheque Press, 2017), Call Out (knife | fork | book, 2017) and The Plot (House House Press, 2018). His work has appeared in Prairie Fire, Vallum, Poetry Is Dead, The Capilano Review, and elsewhere. His first book, Dream of No One but Myself, is forthcoming from Brick Books. He lives in Verdun, Qc, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation.