Tanka Writing Roundtable • Fall 2011
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Desiree Thomas

Black Book
A Series of Urban Tanka

Desireé Thomas

The art of writing tanka has been a part of my life for the last three months and even though that isn't a long period of time, I can say that it has made a huge impact in my life. It has given me another "go to" place when I feel the need to pour out whatever is bottled up inside me.

Hot water burns my skin
I scrub hard
making red marks
that start to welt.
Why won't he come off?

The cold rain
pounds the ground
as our hearts separate
I watch your face
in my rearview window

The love of my life
silently signs his name
and leaves
his ring
on the table


I sip red wine,
the kind we
had on our
anniversary . . .

Dear Love,
the kisses
you sent me
were expired.
Try again.


Along with a broken nose
and black eyes,
he wipes my tears
and says
"I love you."

I am a rose
in full bloom.
My black petals sprout,
in need of nothing but
space, air, and quiet.


Back in your arms
you squeeze me close
as if afraid
I'll leave again
but disappear.

I open the door.
A look of surprise and happiness
fills her face
as she tells me
the bathroom needs cleaning.


Like Bella
I call your name
in my sleep
and want to be with you

You open the book
that is my life
in efforts to come back
not knowing that your chapter
was ripped out


Face to face
I whisper
on your lips
not goodbye
but see you soon

© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.