Poetess- Timothy Tarkelly

poetess Timothy T

Poetess,

I do not fear you.

I have read you,

but with the lights on,

sweating shame,

lustered, wishing

I knew what to do about it.

I drink from your selection,

at your table

until silver wicks flicker,

day’s over,

and I put the book away.

That cannot be enough.

 

Poetess,

hitherto ignored,

but found by me.

Cherished, absorbed

by me, then sullenly placed —

doomed —

by me into the swollen, pregnant hips

of my backpack,

dragged and beaten,

with zipper scars

and ripped-seam fractures,

compound corners showing clever titles

and wrecked covers.

A book so beautiful,

yet lost to the weight of a text they made me carry

and said not to read you in the first place.

 

Poetess,

I see you

from a balcony I did not earn.

A torch?

I would pass it.

Promethean matches flicked

to your friends at my stoop.

I’d set traps for giants

crouching atop bean stalks,

but I’m afraid to admit they’re on my level.

I’d rain mortar on Babel’s masons

and drop bombs on crystal shingles,

but

gloved, red-browed, and angry

I can’t help but remember whose fight this is.

I swim through the ropes and walk the walk,

but to step down,

even with a friendly ladder,

is by its very definition condescending.

 

Poetess,

I do not fear you.

I simply ask for your forgiveness.

 

Image and text by Timothy Tarkelly


Timothy Tarkelly has an MA in Theatre (Drama Therapy) from Kansas State University. His poems have been featured by Lycan Valley Press, Fourth & Sycamore, Poets & War, and Aphelion. He is a member of the National Writers Union (UAW local 1981) and is on the National Committee of the Social Democrats, USA. When he is not writing, he works for a non-profit that serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

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I refuse to be invisible. I honor my voice. I write because I have to.

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