Jesus, Tick, Not Again

by Erik Tschekunow

Jesus, Tick, not again, blood-
glutted, arachnid thug plucked

from the belly of my birddog
mutt, I have it in me

to ruin you, to smack that smutty
hematophagy from your harpoon

lips, to pick off each of your eight legs
making wishes as I go—for one

that god or nature or whatever
would chitin a nymph like you would quit

giving me such wicked impetus,
like—hear me, Tick, listen to how

inhumane I sound, deranged even—
I’ve been wishing death

upon this dog, my beloved pet,
and it’s not like she’s old or sick,

and it’s not like I’ll refuse to feed
or groom her—this is a private revilement,

a voodoo I practice in my ribcage.
What is it, Tick? Must I press you

into a shadowy crook of my body,
let you spit back the pith of me?

There are men, I’ve heard, that get
to a point when they loosely hope

all they’ve built for themselves
burns down. I hope I’m not so foolish

to think eliminating my dog will advance
any kind of renewal; and especially now,

leaning in close enough to notice
slight hiccups in her breath

like pins against my intentions,
I hope whatever hope

numbs the strains of faith
is in me, even if shelled

like the charge of a bomb;
a hope, a hope, and you, Tick,

wriggling in my pinch, your name
the click that heralds a boom.

Erik Tschekunow teaches writing and literature at Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN. His poems have recently appeared in The Cortland Review, Arsenic Lobster, Stickman Review, Tar River Poetry, and the anthology Poetry City, USA. Also, his verse drama AntiMidas will be produced later this year in Asheville, NC.

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