Talin Tahajian grew up near Boston. Her poetry has appeared in the Kenyon Review Online, Indiana Review, Best New Poets 2014 & 2016, Black Warrior Review, and the Rumpus. She edits poetry for Big Lucks and the Adroit Journal, and is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan.

This poem was longlisted for the 2018 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Morgan Parker.

1 poem

by Talin Tahajian

I keep a strange list


The night whistles in
as through two
rain-white teeth.
I turn to myself
and say Help
I think I am killing myself—


this is everything we think we want.
Roadkill is so intimate. Launch yourself
into the gore-warm
ocean. Beautiful.
Hello the drowning
is so good Come back no one
can talk to buildings Come home
but I am missionless. I wait
for the water to reclaim
the high white columns
of our fathers. I am from an old city
and, now, from other older cities.
It’s hard to remember.
Sometimes, I walk
on the wrong side of the road
in the wrong country.
I am always dazed
and easily dazzled.
Like any good drug, a cold
glass of coffee lifts me bright.
I keep a strange list
of people I love.
I keep my own personal
terrible holy spirit.
It lives in my faint blood
and my whole animal heart.
We beat together. He is so cold.
Real gods knife you up.
I have experienced indications of the end of the world
so I’ve never been happy.
But I’ve been euphoric. If anyone ever
listened to me, they would know prophecies
and spells Come home to the water
but they don’t listen—they never—