Joseph Bradshaw

Animal Highways


You don't understand my shyness, my shaving cream
I can barely lather in it. Sometimes your wet fingers are
gasping, a wing gap, a page

where you're folding.
This map of your throat shows how far
your paper airplane can be thrown.


Yours is the manifest mustache of dolphins, along with
a sea of prey praying just beneath the prickle. Gulls are
diving into your ocean, rippling the between between
us, never glanced directly. Like the sun they devour and
ingest the surface and I'm left only with this lippy itch,
wetter than women.


O bristling hairs under my palm. Blankly gazing
at the birds blankly gazing, hello. And for the last time
your brambling hairs in the wind. Hello to the old
janitor yanking roots like factory levers in a schoolyard
my bus sputters past. The bumps on your street love oil
better than I, I tire of rubbing against, of asking
where wheels come from and how they spin away.