Tanka Kukai 4

Millikin University Roundtable Tanka Kukai 4, Fall 2009

your face
reminds me of
soft snow
on a cold winter's morning
I catch flakes with my toungue

an empty
calls to me
I wonder
who I should be

you tonight
after my awful dream
you remind me
I will always be safe

I see
an old man
talking to himself

I’ve been here
I’m back once more
perhaps the door never

changing leaves
glassy lake
everything’s perfect
with you

my phone rings
bursting with song
it's my mother—
what should I do
with this cigarette?

out at the corn
thoughts of me
in a different alternate universe
am i still me

you ask about our baby
who went back
to the sun
and why i did not come
to your Halloween parade

At the party
you portray
a Russian Communist
looking at you
it's hard to find my boyfriend

Dracula’s castle
Frankenstein’s monster
the best place to be
in the aged pages
of a classic novel

for apples
she runs back
to her bedroom
for swimming goggles

with old friends—
climb in
and curl up
with the past

all around me
yours is the only one
that matters

college girl
hums in contemplation
convenience store speakers
playing Bach

blinds shut
door closed
one would think
I have something
to hide

the gaze
when I
offer her money
could wilt
plum blossoms

calling me
by name
from the back seat
the hitchhiker
in Jesus sandals

how long can we
keep pretending
everything’s the same?
the tide keeps turning,
the waves keep crashing

cluttered stacks
of cards
we play through the night
using tootsie rolls
as counters

early morning
cold feet
she’s stopped
putting me
in her pictures

so close
and my piano
in this tiny room
like lovers

summer days filled
with playing
changed to nights
playing beer pong

to think
if I never changed
my major
I would never have
met you

I use a pencil
to write out my thoughts
just in case
I change the once image
I had of you

leaves plaster
the damp walkways
for my father

answering the phone
I hear you crying
and this time
I don’t
want to hold you

Knowing the same songs
before we knew each other
a sister to me
now I have no idea
who you are

Monopoly game
Auntie Sharon
teaches me
how to cheat

we take him
to a shelter
sad farewells
a candle in the dark

in your arms
the limp body
of a wolf
snow dust
on your jacket

the wolf
is on the scent
not a track
for the trackers

my mom
asks about high school friends
once so important
now there is only

© 2009, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.