Creative control


Cedric Tillman





Holes (for P. B.)


has anyone seen your father?

your mother held post

until you untethered

and left her round

and open.

now, she seems to know

only that you left,

and you try to remind her

she is a place

you should be able to come back to.

he is fond of birds

and tends to air,

and she can never understand

when you write to tell her

what friends see in you to embrace,

and exactly how

you cause lovers

to wind over the soft places,

and how you have become

so gourded

you make a hollow, moaning sound.



you said she picked at your scar tissue

because it loved you enough

to draw back the curtain.

let it keep pulling on all sides

let it close in on healing

until you are covered,

be gradually comforted so that

the spaces in you

make us consider the empty places

people could live in

if they would only fill us,

make me wonder

if I have ever been so needy

for reception,

and make me realize

how easy it is to redden,

how I am tender to the touch

in a different place

and how I can be pushed through

at some other emotion


today, I heard you

and hugged you

and kissed your hair

I wanted to tell you how

your longing reverberates in me

to this my shattering point,

and I wonder how

anyone could look at you like

you weren't saying a thing,

as if your lips were moving

but your notes were too high,

if they claim the better ear

of common blood.