Scentless Smoke



On the railroad bed
            now paved nature trail
the coyote stops, peers not at

            but through me
into some past or future
            where, behind a bush

I crouch, panting.
            When it slinks off
into the too silent

            woods, a slip
of scentless smoke, no coyote
            was ever here.


John Bradley once lived two blocks from Lake Superior in Duluth. Now he lives an hour and a half west of Lake Michigan in DeKalb, Illinois. His poems been published in the American Poetry Review, Caliban, the Diagram, Hotel Amerika, the Kerf, Shadowgraph, and other journals. He is the author of seven books of poetry and prose, the most recent is Erotica Atomica, just released by WordTech.