Tim Mayo’s poems and reviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Poetry International, Poet Lore, River Styx, Salamander, San Pedro River Review, Tar River Poetry, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. His first collection, The Kingdom of Possibilities, was published by Mayapple Press in 2009. His second collection, Thesaurus of Separation, will be punished by Phoenicia Publishing in July of 2016. He’s a five time Pushcart Prize Nominee and has been a top finalist for the annual Paumanok Award.
For the most part it is light in weight
with the excitement of all color
having fled with the flammables of desire
but consider the sometimes heaviness of it
as if the matter it once was
had not wanted to let go
of the sweet orange of sunset
For years after
I could still see the stain
of its round statement
on the kitchen ceiling,
the yellowed noodles
of chicken soup
a salty broth dripping
from their ends.
All this I still remember:
my mother’s sharp cry
after the slow boil’s expansion
and the inarticulate sound
of the locked metal surrendering
as the cooker hissed
into full voice.
But the lid escapes me.
Where did it go?
And that sudden unsealing
of a tightly fastened world . . .
When the Ghost of Christmas Past
comes knocking on a hot summer’s night,
you have to ask, Why does it happen?
For whom do we live?
You need to stop drying
the wife’s dishes and put
the towel over your tired shoulder
like a matador’s cape;
you need to say, ¡Olé! when the sudden thought
of an invisible man comes to mind.
You need to step through the screen door
into the steamy, green & indigo yard,
past the rusting swing set, it’s bubbled paint
peeling off the browned silence of its bones,
and past the now rickety tree house,
still cradled in the dying limbs of the old oak,
and on through the hole in the hedge,
as though all along you expected this:
the Santa Claus of fireflies
coming to take you back.