Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Catfish Caught



I pray this time the hook be gentle,

The filet of my body held in her eager hands


I know my flesh
to be consumed in all ways.


This is what the shank, the bend,
and the barb will not let me forget.


The inevitability of being caught
                                               & thrown back.




Jesus pan-seared on my tongue,
I can’t cum unless she calls me Daddy


I blush in the name of the Father,


I am wet in her mouth
weighing the ingredients of my sin




1 fresh body garnished in guilt
½ teaspoon of coarse salt
Flour seasoned of bull dagger
and fag to taste
while I burn bright beneath
the eye of God




as she palms the hair coiled thick on my face
I resemble son instead of daughter
I am convinced that this is a unique
failure at grace
But in this moment shame
begets a new joy,
a new praise ripping
through my thighs
Everyday is a prayer to
be chosen by the hook’s hand

Jari Bradley is a poet and scholar from San Francisco, California currently working on their masters degree in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in both Africana and Sexuality studies at San Francisco State University. Their work focuses on similar themes. Jari is a 2015 Callaloo fellow and has most recently participated in the Interdisciplinary Writers Lab: For Emerging Writers of Color. Their work has been published in Callaloo and Nomadic Ground Press.