Two Poems by Brad Rose

Exit Row

This time, they’re sending me in a real ambulance. I may have short legs, but I’ve got a tall head. Normally, I try to limit my time in crowds, but I like to be everywhere at once. Some people say I’m just wasting my time. It makes me feel tingly. Thanks to my parents’ good sense, I’ve inherited nearly perfect pheromones, although I never receive enough fan mail. It’s probably because I have so many aliases. They make it easier to hide things from myself. In fact, I’ve nearly forgotten where all the bodies are buried. Thank goodness there’s been no mention of ransom money. As they remove me from the plane, I find the handcuffs are completely unnecessary, although I must say they fit me like a glove. What’s the big deal? This time was just like all the others, except for the burning parachutes.

My Funny Valentine

We think it’s money they’re after, but the bee industry seeks a monopoly of stings. Naturally, we don’t always want what’s best for us. Cupid hunts with a serrated arrow, which is why I’ve never loved anyone who’s dared love me back. I’m grateful, though, for every wound. I’ve often been accused of being a person to whom punishment randomly occurs, so I’m trying to tame the whip of chance. At least, I’m not contagious anymore. Now that I’ve got a treacherously good thing going, I’m learning the second language of love. All I can confidently say is, it’s not my first. As a flannel moon rises over a parting velvet sea, I eagerly await the second coming. This time it’s going to be entirely laissez-faire. Round-trip tickets, half-price; heartfelt apologies, guaranteed.

Brad Rose is the author of three collections of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015) de/tonations (Nixes Mate Press, 2020) and Momentary Turbulence (Cervena Barva Press, 2020). His fourth collection, WordinEdgeWise, is forthcoming in 2021 from Cervena Barva Press. Brad’s website is:


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