Two Poems

1

December 15, 2012 by The Citron Review

by Tim Tomlinson
 

Taylor Ham On White

My brother
did not commit

suicide

as a child—
was I deprived

of the kind of incident that shapes

character?

I don’t blame him—

I didn’t
either,

that day,

after school,

alongside the oven

but either of us
could have

with

plenty of

reason

to spare.
The empty milk carton,

taylor ham on white,
a smear

of French’s yellow.

This is what they’ve left us.

Baloney—
when you fry it—
turns into

sombreros
you can fill

with ketchup.

We preferred
“ketchup”
over “catsup,”

a ridiculous word.

“Big Shot”
was Bosco
in a spray can. We loved

turning white
milk

brown.
Scooter pies
were dry as Communion

we couldn’t swallow.

Today
my brother drinks
iodine

in aloe juice
before bed.

How much must
be

hurt, inside.

Before Martha Stewart, There Was

Mom,
dropping

Pop Tarts
into the toaster
down once, medium, remove

with care.

On the phone,
her friend across the street
says coffee

is on.
Mom tells

us hurry up,
the bus is coming.
What

do they do
when
we’ve gone,
our buses

going in

different directions,

in

our bandanas
and bellbottoms,
our drugs

kicking in
before

homeroom,

I wonder?

Tim Tomlinson is co-founder of New York Writers Workshop, and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing.  Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Caribbean Vistas, Dirty Napkin, Extracts, HALiterature, LITnIMAGE, The New Poet, New York Quarterly, Tule Review, and the anthology Long Island Noir(Akashic Books). His poem, “To the Best Friend of the Girl in the Mr Peanut Costume, Halloween, 1986” (Unshod Quills), is nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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One thought on “Two Poems

  1. […] has also published “Two Poems” in the winter issue of The Citron Review, a poem that includes “Before Martha […]

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