Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 1 , July 2015


Alone Again

Andy Kissane

  Walking alone, my toes sinking into the wet sand 
  of this primordial beach, the sloshing pull 
  at my ankles reminding me of the dark certainty 
  of the womb that I can now only barely 
  imagine—that second when I slipped suddenly 
  into the hands of another and bawled my first 
  barbaric yawp into the warm pulse of the night— 
  a moment as precious and as easily forgotten
  as the multitudes that follow. Each day begins 
  with snatches of birdsong, the smallest flicker 
  of eyelashes, a tempting laziness and a yearning 
  that I struggle to name and understand. While 
  eating alone, like a dog, in stately Vienna 
  and sipping what the waiter calls the best beer 
  in the world, I listen to Louis Armstrong sing 
  of the saints, the saints, and as the sax blows 
  heaven ever closer, I tear the sweet lamb 
  from the bone, the light blazing off the silver 
  and for once I don’t think that I have wasted 
  my life. Hopefully, I will feel this way again 
  at the hour of my death, when my feet 
  turn blue, when a flying ant buzzes, trapped 
  between the blind and the window, when 
  I am about to fall or rise into who knows 
  what mysterious space, aware that I alone 
  can do this, and must, aware that I cannot 
  defer or control what will be—my eyes 
  now opening for one last glimpse of beauty.