ode to the ladybug stuck in the bus 

Joseph Gordon

oh no, 

she missed her 

stop. a dalmatian just got on 

after the bridge. he doesn’t pay. 

oh no. 

oh no. 

oh, no, the lady 

bug, no longer 

stuck, wait—don’t pay.  

you missed her. 

you missed her. stop. say 

goodbye. observe that 

we are all 

just displaced 


ants in the ocean. no one cares 

when you tell them this. but, 

show them 

your elderly mother 

suckling the rot, 

and suddenly—

it is a poem.

golden gate bridge puts up net after decades of requests for deterrents  

Joseph Gordon

don’t jump. 

your sister will tell you 

stay away 

from the bridge— 

listen to her. learn 

to speak survival 

dirt. jump. it won't matter 

how your funeral is 

catered. the pasta salad 

will be pasta 


do you remember the miller lite 

soaked crunch? dad’s tar fished hands— 

slipped, I swear, officer— 

no matter how much 

you love them, 

under enough light  

all shadows 


for after. 

you do. you do. listen. 


Joseph Gordon is a poet living in San Francisco. His work has appeared in Puerto Del Sol, Rivet Journal, and Eunoia Review. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco.