Soulmates

By Peter Krumbach

Featured Art by Claude Monet

I was sent a how-to-carve-a-whistle book.
I thought of whistles.
I thought of carving.
I bought a whistle-carving kit.
I stuffed tobacco in my pipe and sparked it.
I opened a buck knife, put a willow stick in my lap.
I carved a whistle.
I blew.
I tossed it in the fire and looked at the flames.
I carved another whistle, then another.
I carved nineteen whistles, the ground strewn with chips.
I carved the last one to sound a quarter-step above high C, a tone only I and my soulmate could hear.
I blew it every morning, then listened.
I heard soulmates blow back from their graves.
I heard whistles from the Mariana Trench.
I heard them sound from Pluto’s moon.
I blew the other day, but no one blew back.
I blew louder. Still, no reply.
I filled my lungs with all the air of the garden.
I blew the loudest. And nothing. Only the neighbor calling if
I could keep it down.


Peter Krumbach was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. His most recent work has been or is about to be published in Beloit Poetry Journal, Bitter Oleander, jubilat, Massachusetts Review and Willow Springs. He lives in California.

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