You'll Get Us Both Killed

poetry by Anthony Isaac Bradley

CONTENT WARNING: homophobic slur. Please read at your own risk.

You’ll Get Us Both Killed

Either hipster or look-at-me fem

with those pink shorts. You’ve got my attention

and everyone else’s on this dark avenue

where a mob of police rookies

practice proper demeanor, ready to slap ass

at the bar, slap the taste out

of misbehaving queers like us.

You don’t hear me telling you I like pussy

one says after seeing your shirt

with F – A – G embroidered in lime green.


You’ll get us both killed

before you let me go a day

without holding your hand in public.

You know my paranoia for PDA

because the Midwest is the Midwest. Yes,

I made it out alive

but I have to look for concealed carry bulges

on passerbys loudly wasted, just enough courage

to take sides if love rears

its pink head. You laugh,


but I’ve seen boots leave a wig a mess.

Sequins dropped

when their wearer suddenly has to run

in platform heels.


You practice your walk-away-upset routine

down the sidewalk: a loud Hmmph, a spin away,

clop clop with your thighs as pistons.


Of course I’m going

to chase after, hold your hand,

but only here, in the dark.


Anthony Isaac Bradley

Anthony Isaac Bradley is an MFA candidate at Texas State University. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Gargoyle,Cimarron Review, and other lovely places. He’s a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He lives with his cat and the ghost of another.