On Desire

On Desire
Dujie Tahat

A firm hand. The shadow waves of satin.
I am not yet flesh. He calls me baby,
and I touch my face. I'm searching for god
when I oil my body in the mirror. To love it
mean to love a man mean an opening
to another man. When I take my glasses off
all the lines blur. A body is a body without
language, I tell my girlfriend and she laughs,
mouth wide enough to hide in. she shows me
my soft parts. I dissolve into what. I forget
hiding also means a good beating, the way
passion can be suffering. I can't believe
my whole life I never touched what made me
holy. We have bread, butter and nowhere to be. 

Dujie Tahat is the author of "Here I am O my God" 
(Poets' Society of America, 2020), selected for a
Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship,
Salat (Tupelo 2020), winner of the Tupelo Press
Summer Garden Chapbook Award.    

The Window in the Corner

The Window in the Corner

Usually, it is hidden behind the blinder,
for the funguses blooming between 
the panes--guilty one, jealous or lazy soul,
with no way of purge it;
but when opened the blinder
it provides an excellent view of the
pasture in all seasons--a person 
with a lot of potential, 

like the unfinished 
project in a box in the dark basement 
deemed to be silver, if not a little piece 
of your dream.

So, why not banish the blinder?

the blinder winks;
fungus, like the man who
would have been there; what can I say?

(c)Byung A. Fallgren

Winter, if only well-orchestrated

Winter, if only well-orchestrated

The cows wonder why the cowboy 
moves them down to the pasture only when
the snow covers the whole field; why 
doesn't he keep them, up in the high country.

Only you, mountain lion, laughs at the bovines,
not understanding the man who knows beyond
his field too much, much more than he needs.

Silent songs of the tall haystack at the edge of the
pasture; footprints, small and large, on the snow
sparkles in the sun; pronghorns be-friend with the cows.

Howling coyote at night, wakes the couple of 
bull snake in their home beneath 
the sagebrush on the slope,

asks why-me-e-e? like the shivering people 
in the shacks; responding voice, who, who;
this is winter says the voice, we need it
to cool our heads, time to sit back and
think and prepare for spring. Don't cry. 

(c)Byung A. Fallgren  

The Lie that saved my life

The Lie that saved my life

On a winter evening, I walked round 
the neighbors to collect the money from the
newspaper subscribers. I was helping for
my 12-year-old son came down with a cold.

When I knocked on the door to a trailer
an old man with a grumpy face stood at the door.
Collecting for the newspaper, I said.
Come on in, he said.
Common sense nudged me not to go inside.
I'll wait here, I told him.
It's awfully cold out there, he insisted. Come inside.
His word hypnotic, I went inside.

Sit down there. The old man pointed to the couch.
We'll make it quick. You'll feel not a bit.
In the kitchen, a middle-aged woman was
searching for something in the drawer.
A knife, or a hammer? she asked the old man.
A hammer will do.
Sensing something amiss in their conversation, 
I said, I am on an undercover duty as well. 
Undercover? the old man looked startled.
Where is the hammer, Ed? the woman hollered.
Don't bother, woman, he said. Let's just have a talk.

The woman took a chair across us.
Only then did I notice her swollen feet
like a baby nursing mom's breast.
Wife needs new kidney, he said. I knew then
the whole story; the failed murder scheme and all.
I got up. I will think about that, calmly I said.
Now, can you pay for your subscription? 

Sure, the old man handed me the bill.
I hurried outside. The woman watched me,
with the glistening jade eyes of an animal that
just lost its prey that was so close to be its meal.

Now, decades later, I realize how careless I was
to go inside the house. I was glad I did the collection
on behalf of my son that evening. told him to stop
the paper delivering; just telling him to not go inside
the stranger's house wasn't enough.  Even I did!

Every October, I think of my stupidity that happened long ago,
one after another on the same night. Thanks to that, I wrote two
poems, which one of them published in the Terror House Magazine.
Halloween is around the corner, and we need to remind the children
not to go inside the stranger's house.  No matter how kind the 
stranger might be no matter how cold outside is; do not go inside!

This is a real story. Believe me. Assuming this is a fiction, miss out
the genuine feelings of true empathy for the true experiences. 

Byung A. Fallgren

What life does, is this

What life does, is this

While driving outskirt of town
to check on a friend in distress,
I saw in rearview mirror a patrol car,
lights flashing, follows me.
pulled over, wondering what I did wrong.

Show me the license, ma'am, he said.
I did.
You did over speed, he said. Where were
you going? 
To a friend of mine grieving for her
parents who died in recent hurricane.

I'm sorry, he went on, but you are fined
a hundred dollar or more. 
I winced. 
Considering your clean record, I'll just 
give you a warning. Next time, you must pay.
I thanked him.

Continuing on my way, I was surprised 
by the trees in oranges, gold and red,
in just a week; they changed from a few tints
of the end of summer to the deep autumn,
full display of the beauty of the season.

The small luck of the day and the warning of the officer;
the retirees who quickly vanished from the golden age;
like October trees signaling for the inevitable winter;
winter, the time of respite and restoration for spring;

this is what life does; teacher of how all that can be better 
with some flashlight, like the warning of the cop. 

(c) Byung A. Fallgren