Two Poems by Timothy Gager

reply to the grumpy cashier at the fast food restaurant

Hel­lo Sunshine!

just make my damn sandwich

cause at min­i­mum wage

that’s what you’re here for


Just a reminder:

no one died on a cross

mak­ing that bun

the body of Christ

and the fact that I’m 40

doesn’t auto­mat­i­cal­ly mean

I’m check­ing out your body, Christ

I don’t want any­thing else,

only what I asked for


I think I’ve done this before

I’ve set my eyes on your sour puss,

smiled and said thank-you,

salt-pep­per-ketchup, please

go the fuck home

and con­tin­ue doing nothing.


Excla­ma­tion for a Separation 
which hap­pened long Ago 

Hey you. I’ve nev­er spo­ken badly
about you but I need to start.
I just want­ed to say how things are
for me regard­ing you. You
with no sense of forgiveness…believe
me when I say I still remem­ber the
time I had to wres­tle an apol­o­gy out
of myself I nev­er want­ed to give.
Boy was that a mis­take, I thought
you just want­ed to smell the blood
of my weak­ness so you could say,
Ha, I’m a shark! Now, I can no longer
speak or even look at you. It angers me
like a match spark­ing a gaso­line river.
I want you to die but not before I want
you to know that my feel­ings will remain
and that is a good thing. It is that rage
which nev­er again wish­es to break into your
heart; the way yours did to mine,
to hurt it, which moti­vates me to nev­er be weak or
give in to a cold heart­ed unfor­giv­ing fuck
like your­self who will nev­er have the
priv­i­lege of ever know­ing me again.
You will still use oth­ers for your personal
gain but it will nev­er be me. Here’s some
advice: I still see that you are up to your
old tricks so I hope you’ve learned after
your career falls flat on your blank
trans­par­ent face. that I think it would
work out nice­ly for every­one. Chalk it up to
lessons learned. It’s tak­en years of restraint
to not say I want to punch you in the face
then stab you. Too harsh? I’m not sorry!
See that! I’ve learned. I’ve just give you
fod­der to talk about me the way you
always did, at least today, feel what's real.


Tim­o­thy Gager is the author of eight books of short fic­tion and poet­ry. He has host­ed the suc­cess­ful Dire Lit­er­ary Series in Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts every month for the past eleven years and is the co-founder of Somerville News Writ­ers Festival.His work has appeared on NPR and in  over 250 online and print jour­nals since 2007. He has  been nom­i­nat­ed for the Push­cart Prize nine times.
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