Tiffany Midge

 A Love Story


The blood stain on the towel.

After making love left.

The impression.

Of a perfectly shaped pair of cartoon lips.

The cartoon kiss a shock of crimson.

I took a photo.

It reminded you of your first time.

With Midori, your then-wife.

In a love hotel rented by the hour.

Which virtually populates every corner.

Of Tokyo.

Your imprint on the sheet celebrated.

The Japanese flag.

It was a thing of beauty, you said.

Our love inspiring flawlessness, you said.

Round orb of brightness.

Or panic.

Your then-wife rushed to the bath to scrub it out.





The waiter refills my glass
then a crash
almost collapses the awning.
Rain staccatos the roof,
and bullets come to mind
because earlier on the phone
inviting me to dinner,
telling of the details,
I imagined a murder
to rival Capote’s opus, but it wasn’t,
rather your brother-in-law who owned too many books
took his old mother with him,
natural causes, the police
told you, heart panics, heat strokes,
or loneliness and your husband’s
away, so here we are.
                                    In Kosovo, little boys
ran after your interpreter’s
VW Rabbit begging for cigarettes. What is a Newark
house with too many books?
What is a torn country? They love Americans!
Because we bombed the Kurds.

                                    In Newark, a double death.
It pours outside.
The sky’s a fist of tobacco,
and the night smells like pennies and blood,
our first rain in months.
From my current read, The Bookseller of Kabul,
I tell you that the Taliban outlawed

kite flying but not polygamy.
                                    My windshield wiper breaks.
I drive home with your bath towel
in my lap, Scotch tape holding
the blade together. You fly to Newark
to see to burials and a labyrinth of books,
unforeseen rain that surrenders
to gravity, a luminous source of light
trailing from war-torn cities.


Tiffany Midge



Tiffany Midge


Tiffany Midge is the recipient of the Kenyon Review Earthworks Prize for Indigenous Poetry for The Woman Who Married a Bear (forthcoming) and the Diane Decorah Memorial Poetry Award for Outlaws, Renegades and Saints; Diary of a Mixed-up Halfbreed (Greenfield Review Press).  Her work has appeared in North American Review, The Raven Chronicles, Florida Review, South Dakota Review, Shenandoah, Poetry Northwest and the online journals No Tell Motel and Drunken Boat.  An enrolled Standing Rock Sioux, she holds an MFA from University of Idaho and lives in Moscow, Idaho (Nez Perce country).