By Jeff Tigchelaar

Featured Art: Blue Cat by Dar Whitlatch, Jason Douglas, Mallory Valentour

Evenings, let me tell you, are for

coming down. Going home and getting

into bed. Or slippers, at least. Yeah I’ve got bunny slippers

and there’s no shame in that. My only child

is insane. I don’t care who thinks

what about my PJs, either. I sleep

in a faded 4X orange and green T-shirt worn for years

by my father before me. So thin you can see my nips.

If you were looking, that is.

At the mercantile today I couldn’t stop thinking

about how I always just keep looking – nodding –

at Dr. Prajeet even when I haven’t

the slightest what he’s on about.

How hard would it be

– wink – just to say “Dr. Prajeet,

if you wouldn’t mind reiterating a bit –

you know . . . in laywoman’s terms?” Just ask him.

Laywoman, Dr. Prajeet. That’s me.

I wonder what I’d say if Dr. P. asked me

to elope. Off to some far land. Or even if he just asked me

out. Dancing, maybe. Here in town. I wonder what my little

Richie would think about that. If you don’t want mommy

coming home with doctors, don’t be a grown man living

with mom. Maybe I’d say that to old Mr. Ricardo.

I notice he has no ring. The doctor, I mean.

But that might be just

how he dresses for work.


Dr. P.’s one of the few people I’ll admit

that I’d like to groom his eyebrows with my teeth.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe the problem’s with me.

I don’t process Dr. Prajeet’s words

– because I’m so focused

on his phenomenal brows.



Anyhow, there I went again. Ha –

opening up just because

you’re here. Let me know if you think I need

to apologize, or anything.

Jeff Tigchelaar’s poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, North American Review, Pleiades, Court Green, Hunger Mountain, Harpur Palate, and The Laurel Review, and in anthologies such as Verse Daily, Best New Poets, and New Poetry from the Midwest. His first book, Certain Streets at an Uncertain Hour, won the 2016 Kansas Authors Club Nelson Poetry Book Award. Recently, he was runner-up for the 2019 Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry, and a finalist in the Chad Walsh Chapbook Series.

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