Faking It

Adam Tavel

A dug-up corpse could wear your favorite shirt
face-down on the gorge’s scrubby floor beside
the burning s’more your flipped car made. That used
to be enough to make the world believe
you stomped your brakes but plummeted the blur
of crags that whipping past tore out your scream.
The coroner would cringe and nod. Your aunt
twice divorced would take the pooch. College friends
would snivel, leaking on the casket lid.
Older now, they’d need some wine to bag
your apartment up. Two states away, you’d spin
and try the shades inside the minimart.
How gleaming each could look with butchered hair,
your dye rinsed down a motel drain like phlegm.


Adam Tavel’s third poetry collection, Catafalque, won the 2017 Richard Wilbur Award (University of Evansville Press, 2018). He is also the author of The Fawn Abyss (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Plash & Levitation (University of Alaska Press, 2015), winner of the Permafrost Book Prize in Poetry. His recent poems appear, or will soon appear, in The Georgia Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Puerto del Sol, New Ohio Review, and Tampa Review, among others. You can find him online at http://adamtavel.com/.