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Levi Bradford May 2018
I've got a laundry list of problems
That I am not dealing with right now.
But I swear to you that I will solve them when I am older.
For now I will let them simmer
Right there on the back burner.

Why is this not my bed?
Why are you not my wife?
Why is my house on fire?

Who left the oven on?

I’ve been home for a good solid month now and I still don't have a job
And all these empty days are beginning to feel like ****.
I know that God provides all that I need
But I don't think he knows me that well.

I need a 10-cylinder production car.
I need to do something that gets the cops on my tail
Like rob a bank or hit a cop car.
I want to touch you. I want to touch you. I wanna touch you
I wanna touch you I wanna touch you I wanna touch u.
I want to spend my days watching Happy Days with my family.    
I want to think about all these happy days spent at home.

Who left the TV on?

Do you ever have one of those dreams
Where you're drowning but it's kinda nice
And then you wake up in the bath tub?

Who left the water on?
Levi Bradford Apr 2018
The silence must be unsatisfied here.
The air conditioning has broken for the night
so my family's all gone in to sleep
and sweat out their dreams.

These nights, the birds never stop their song,
in with the crickets who scrape on
and on
and on.
The harvest moon is out, and they must think it is the sun,
bulbous and orange,
like one wide eye of a tilted face,
looking hard at all these curious animals.

Now I know I have just a girl for a mate
and I'm only a man of a king
but what a god,
what a god
what a God! we must have.

What a god I sit with now,
sounding the humble noises of the night,
both of us wondering what it must be like to grow old.
Summer nights in Florida stay hot. The temperature drops from 100 to 88 and you can still sweat at 3 a.m. This place feels like it never changes. Which means, when you have a picture of Florida in your, it doesn't ever really need to change. This place doesn't age. But I still do in the midst of it.
Levi Bradford Apr 2018
The bible says that one day,
the bodies of the dead will be raised from their graves,
and all peace will reign again.

My aunt Shelly was cremated,
according to her wishes.
"You'd never get see my body underground!
Save space for the next sucker put in a box for forever."

What will happen to my dear aunt Shelly?
Will what's left of her body be raised with the rest of us;
her smaller self rising, kind of like smoke, from the urn we keep her in on the bookcase
so that we can localize her presence whenever we feel it?
Or will we find God sitting cross-legged in our living room,
putting us all back together, piece by tiny, burnt piece?
Levi Bradford Apr 2018
Spiders.

Snakes.

Late nights, due to the fact that once I saw a possum in our garage when it was dark out.

Good looking people not thinking I'm good looking.

Holding children. I might drop them.

My brothers growing up to be just like me.

Shark attacks.

Jumping off high places.

Headphones that go too deep into my ears.

Going the opposite direction of so many cars. I'm the only one going my way.  They're probably headed the right way. They're probably having more fun.

Realizing that, after being on the road for a while, my high beams have been on the whole time. Sorry.

Cockroaches.

Family reunions where I'm not sure if that really attractive girl is my family or someone's friend.

Climbing up the stairs of the Bombay ride at Wet N' Wild because there just slabs of stone I can see under. I could slip and fall right through.

Enjoying bad bands.

Letting my girlfriend look into my eyes.

Talking on the phone.

Growing up.

Refusing to grow up.

Reading this over if I ever finish it and realizing that I am something less than a regular human being.  Probably an animal of some kind.

Frogs.

Big animals.

Waking up one day as the same person I always have been.

Standing still.

My parents.

Not spending the rest of my life with the girl I swore I would.

Texting people too often.

My parents dying.

Whales.

My teeth being this awful the rest of my life.

Braces.

Making people think they offended me.  People never offend me.

Writing anything that's ever as good as Ernest Hemingway.  How dare I think that I ever could.

Running too hard.  My heart might burst.

Being unreasonable. Am I unreasonable?

Sticking my finger inside an air conditioning vent in a car.  I don't know if there's a fan in there.  I don't know if it'll take my finger off.

Getting people's hopes up.

Letting people down.

Fish.

Bees.

Being a teacher.

My laugh.

Wearing bad clothes.

Holding her hand too hard.  I might cut off circulation.  She might get mad.

My brother disapproving of what I do.

Heaven because it sounds awful doing the same thing for the rest of forever.

Finding out I've been *** this whole time.

Cracking my fingers.

Being a parent.

Whales.

Final exams.

Paranormal Activity 4.

Singing on cue.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Eating insects.

Whales.

Silence.

The open ocean.

Whales.

Whales.
Sometimes I just need to list everything. I wrote this in 10th grade and strangely enough, I'm still afraid of most of these things. But they have less power over me.
Levi Bradford Apr 2018
Her collarbone was exposed to the sun
as she squinted,
assessing the birds.

The other night
We planned to go out for a wine special at a cafe
When we found a pigeon stuck under the hood of our car
She screamed and grabbed my arm
Saying “We’ve got to get it out; it’ll die if we don’t.”

So she stood in the shadow-casting light of our screened-in porch
And she strapped my bike helmet to the front of my face
To protect me from getting my eyes pecked out.

I opened the hood
And released the bird
And she screamed and cackled
As it rose up
Flapping furiously, free and frantic and faithfully gone into the warmest night we’ve had in months.

Just today
I encountered her, face to the window:
“A cardinal!”
Which is a bird
I only ever see on the ground
And not flying
And definitely not trapped behind a radiator.
Someone once told me you won’t be married to the same person in 50 years because your partner changes and you two will fall in love over and over again, with someone new each time. This is a poem about realizing that is true.
Levi Bradford Apr 2018
It's morning, rain has fallen making all the ground darker shade and I'm sweaty,
and, god, I didn't want to be sweaty.
I'm pushing panting up a hill in sixth gear on my six-gear bike because
the gear-shifter has long since broken
as a result of a time I cut too close to a
old-fashioned lamp post,
caught my pedal on it
and went spinning headlong into a rose bush.

The trees are green,
greener than I've ever seen them.
It's morning and the cars shick by, rolling atop the water in the road like Christ did in the early years.
A car slams into a puddle.
When did our lives become so perfectly metaphored in cars?
The a to B life; stopping only when stopped by a glaring light or harsh word; filling up and running out; breaking down only on the road, never in my own garage.

A warm rain will fall this morning.
I hear only the breathy whisper of my breath out my mouth
and engines and tires.
I think nothing, which is a hard-earned comfort
seeing as I, like every person, have a lot to think about,
ever since we invented the automobile; ever since we crucified a sinless man; ever since the moment we thought nothing, and were sent crashing into a rose bush.
Sometimes I'm just so tired of my anxiety
Levi Bradford Apr 2018
Late city lights look like
"glitter sprinkled on the floor"
of the bedroom
in a house
I'm 15
and no one's parents are home.

In the car of a friend
I'm in the back seat
                                       beside a couple who has long since lost something.
Someone says "sorry"
and they kiss like wolves.
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