The younger men
of my neck of the woods,
at their rain-trodden stomping grounds.
They navigate battleship trucks
through the mud
until one is proven
to be better than the rest (commander).
The women gather there,
As they haven’t missed this show
since the resurrection.
The boys, like roosters
pin calls of prowess
and “until morning,”
Allowing lips to meet, separate,
sign terms, and promise rewards:
a fifty-five inch piece of glass.
It will mark where she belongs.
She will tell her neighbors
that it was what she wanted.
When the door is closed,
the curtains drawn,
the TV tells a different story.
Lips meet the lips of strangers,
deals are broken.
She wants to be one of the liars,
smokers, sexual beings
craving pain in her joints,
and tired brows, strained teeth.
Her mind wanders to a softer mattress
As foreign (brown) hands
quicken a pulse thought dead…
buuuuuut…the deal she made
so many years before.
“Leave the bending hips and smacking lips
to those who can bare to lose them.
I will take it straight. I will take it on my back.”
Timothy Tarkelly has had poetry featured by Paragon Journal, GNU, Whisper and the Roar, Haunted Waters Press, Cadaverous Magazine, Poets & War, Cauldron Anthology, Lycan Valley Press, Fourth & Sycamore, and Aphelion. When he is not writing, he works for a non-profit that serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence in western Kansas.