Do you prefer adding or subtracting? Yeah, me too. Fortunately, I was raised by a circus family, so I got a head start. Some people think there is a science to it, but it’s really just the elephant of surprise. Of course, it takes two to tango, but it’s always great to get a compliment, especially when you don’t have to pay for it. Yesterday, I was out back trying to milk the drunken snakes. No, not the poisonous ones; their colors are too vengeful. Normally, I like to collect secrets, but since the latest labor shortage and all the high-pitched accidental savagery, it’s been nearly impossible for me to communicate with other life forms. Heck, I can hardly read my own handwriting. Ms. Molotov, my wrestling coach, says I should stop worrying; there is nothing to fear, but life itself. (She should know, she purchased her last online husband from Amazon Prime.) Her hair is as symmetrical as a near drowning and she smells of bargain basement high-octane. I think I love her. Whenever we drive in my low-slung Bagatelle, with the top down and the music on, she thinks I’m short, fair, and handsome. Saturday, as we took a spin, I told her, At least I’m not a danger to myself or anyone I know. She squinted into the middle distance, reached into her purse for her lily-colored handgun, and purred, Turn up the volume, Preston. Drive faster.
Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author of three collections of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray, de/tonations, and Momentary Turbulence. A new book of prose poems, No. Wait. I Can Explain., is forthcoming in August 2022. Six times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and three times nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, Brad’s poetry and fiction have appeared in, The Los Angeles Times, The American Journal of Poetry, Bending Genres, New York Quarterly, Puerto del Sol, Clockhouse, Cloudbank, Baltimore Review, 45th Parallel, Best Microfiction 2019, Lunch Ticket, Cultural Daily, and other publications. Brad is also the author of seven poetry chapbooks, including the recently released Collateral, and Funny You Should Ask. His website is: www.bradrosepoetry.com.