Poem Non-Pastoral

A poem by Savannah Bradley

Random Young Writer

City street lined with billboards. A person lies on the sidewalk in the fetal position on a piece of cardboard with a box over their head.

We are a single line of changing colors. We are eighteen and summer and skin. We occupy. We city. We subway. We kiss. We don’t know how to converse about a world not born of cement and telephone wire and secrecy in the shopping mall changing rooms. Sometimes rivers leave us breathless: the idea of surrendering the body to either death or a cleansing of the spirit. To Achilles. To vortex. To baptize. To bliss. Oceans are something we open up the window for to make sure that we’re not dreaming. In the city, the sky is a teal stain of congestion. Identity is luxury. Watch us fetus’d in the floors of Gare du Nord, whispering French and gibberish, acting animal. You call it theater and we call it primal, a release of rural, blurry energy born in our blood and suffocated by that chandelier, a lighthouse, a glittering monument to our grief.


Savannah Bradley is a 20-year-old writer and editor from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Rookie Magazine, bedfellows, and the Columbia Poetry Review, among other places. Bradley is currently the Editor-in-Chief of HALOSCOPE, a platform by and for young creatives, and the Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine Cellar Door. You can find her rambling online @SAVBRADS.

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