“How Did It Feel When You Deleted Our Photo Off of Your Instagram?” by Timothy Tarkelly

We don’t carry baggage, we carry lassos
and the time has come to move on,
rope someone else with our feelings,
drag their nights behind our galloping will
and hope they survive the long, painful cut through the mud.
It’s not that I mind the gesture.
It’s hard to sever ties, so we might as well start
by trimming the fat before we remove the heart entirely.
It’s just a picture. Two people smiling about something,
with a filter that made us look like sepia gods,
soaked in the sun of a beautiful, infinite day.
But I can’t stop thinking about the morning of.
We stopped for breakfast and you told me,
in between bites of your McGriddle,
that thing I promised I’d never repeat,
I reciprocated and we cried,
guiding our horses for another round
of circling the barrels long-since filled
with poison from our respective upbringings.
But we drove and eventually, we parked.
We found the sun and shed the greater weight
for the smaller moment.
For company so perfect
we had to save it. Smile into your camera
and preserve the day. Celebrate.
Not because we found happiness,
but because we’d found each other.

But fuck me, I guess.


Timothy Tarkelly is a poet from Southeast Kansas. He’s had two books published by Spartan Press. When he’s not writing he teaches English to Ninth Graders. One of them recently described his ponytail as “immaculate.”

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