“When It Was Over,” a poem by Tyler Dillow


It was like coffee spilling on my shoes. The insects: beetles, ants, mosquitos. You—repeating—and flies on my feet, in my ears, on my feet. It was the buzzing that filled me. Mayflies, the color of your skin. Caterpillars, the color of your skin. Their eyes, the color of your skin. My name—you kept saying it—over and over and over, until the bugs died and fell. Your skin drooped. Your face sagged. The bugs’ dried skin decayed and shed; it was warm snow on our tongues. You touched my hips, then balled your fingers into fists. Our hands, together, counted the letters in your name. One letter, two, three. Three letters, four, five years. We stood there, wasted. Moths ate our clothes and we were naked. Coffee then dirt then mud was all I saw.

Tyler Dillow lives in Wichita, Kansas. He is the current Poetry Editor at Mikrokosmos/MOJO. Other work by him can be found in X-R-A-Y

Image: accurate-autobody.com

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