Timothy Gager

“But we never discussed the Benefit Package”

Sunday you are penciled
into my busy schedule
the one that also says: KIDS

all month long,
you, continue
the job interview process,
we all call dating,
without me.

When I call on Saturday
you are forced to tell me
that I didn’t get the job.


Angel on the edge
of nostalgia
for her love is not death

but jumping,
the wind on her wings
down to earth
remembering how it was
to sail, that final time

The Inn at Castle Hill

I envision this place
as it was, in the 18th century
a single house,
with a fireplace,
producing a smoked scent
for our hair and clothes

Outside are bare trees, marshes
and evergreens
one side dominant
toward the sun
just like the arch
of the left side of your mouth
is greater than the other
when you smile-I imagine
you, a billowed dress and parasol
in a field with horses
men with wool suits and hats
and me, sipping brandy

out with the cool kids

We began with seven ounce
pony-boy, Michelobs
in Gary’s old Falcon
when we weren’t playing
baseball or football
in someone’s backyard

We hurt when
trees popped up in the outfield
or the secondary;
the unyielding defenders
we ran into
full force because we
wore no pads—
played and loved
without fear
without success

There were no cheerleaders
to kiss at Mooney’s house
only bad habits
and the gritty aftertaste
as we out drank
those kids we always
wanted to beat



We don’t know
we are alone at birth
after the cord is cut

and no one
really sees the sun
by staring
no one catches the scent
of fresh air
or can describe the taste
of spring water
no one
can hear the sound of a broken heart
in a china shop

We know
the sun is visible through a pinhole
remember the warmth on our face

and air is captured
in lifetimes of afternoons
or even when you hang a sheet

we know, water is pure
as a virgin
water won’t lie

and the sound of your heart
when opened is a beautiful symphony
as long as we remove the bull

we know
the chord was cut
our lifetime ago
we know at least that much.

when things go bad

Go to bed and sleep.
Wake at odd hours,
with the clouds at midnight,
in the same dark envelope,
you placed dead flowers.

You find yourself invisible,
unable to seal yourself in,
the flap, a safety device,
prevents you from darkness.

When you didn’t hear
the cry for help,
you think it’s like
the baby monitor quieting
after the infant died.

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