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Heritage: Kobiety- Timothy Tarkelly

Whisper and the Roar

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I don’t know the women,

but I picture them strong.

Their names are echoes

of patron saints,

or famous travelers;

the heroines of cabbage eating people.

The men, though:

Vladislav, Vostok,

Wachek.

They saw men

on wood and linoleum stages.

They saw themselves

pulled by an aluminum bridle.

Men need nourishment,

even before the sun can shake its disapproval.

Electric veins course until lunch time.

Refill! Beer run!

Whiskey

under the gut and ready to burn

at a moment’s notice.

Time cards:

the analog tick of sore bodies

and shameful performance.

“Refill!” “Set them free!”

Off to feel the gentle ease

of tension being replaced

with expectation.

Which echo will they hear after dinner?

Home,

or the nymph?

Musical interludes

of sweat and fun abroad

delay the inevitable.

The day isn’t over

until vibrato folds to chemistry,
wife and babe feel the result,

and grow the bruises to prove it.

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