PC: Celia Schouteden
Goodbye heart, I’ll miss you.
I already see the outline, a blown-out wall;
a self-shaped hole in the wood.
You’d rather leap than chat. I’ll miss
your voice the most, the way it calms
me, even when you say scary shit
about switchblades, old phone numbers.
Even horror glows a little
with a voice like that,
all passion and alveolar trills.
You sound like Gabo.
Say noradrenaline again.
I’d promise to write, but who knows
who I’ll be in two weeks. When, where
things will happen, if clocks will still work
for me. Maybe, I’ve been seeing numbers
differently than I’m supposed to. I’ve read
this is normal. Do people write letters
when they’re happy? Good thing
they make forever stamps.
Somebody will use them someday.
Guilt has me
squinting at scratch-card math.
Throwing mud over my shoulder
‘cause it’s heavier than salt.
Squeezing the living, kicking rabbit
to get my lips at its feet.
Blowing kisses and wishes
to rubber-molded martyrs
and rubbing painted bellies
of sawed trunks, turned to idols.
Softer slurps of goat horn soup
still burn my tongue (penance
for mocking an ancient, island religion).
Hearing the strained, dead-air wheeze of my wallet,
emaciated and poked
by every passing screen --
those windows to helpful heaven.
Swiping left for a whole new chapter
to be afraid of,
a whole new convoy
of junk to dampen the rumble,
and a whole new crop
of growing prices.
About The Author: Timothy Tarkelly
Timothy Tarkelly has a master's in Drama Therapy from Kansas State University and an MFA from National University. His work has been featured by Haunted Waters Press, Cauldron Anthology, Paragon Journal, Whisper and the Roar, and others. He was recently named an Honorable Mention for the Golden Fedora Poetry Prize by Noir Nation. When he is not writing, he works for a non-profit that serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Western Kansas.