When you are alone,/ who are you with./... Thinking is a type of/ telling, of tattling./... How much do you hurt/ right now. What if every/ thought we stomped out/ smoldered along our heels./ What might that mean/ for the thoughts we allow/ and how we advertise them,/ would we be fire hydrants/ dribbling image, hoses/ spattering the sidewalk under/ us with undeveloped film.---Hannah Stephenson, “Plus One”, The Storialist, 06-26-12
He came down the hill, the city down there,
finding himself exactly as he was climbing:
Alone. How can he feel like he was with her?
Bored with the blandness of faded roofs,
rusty or mottled with faded paint, like God
must be while gazing down on lost sheep.
A formula for longing. It always works like
the lonely hunter. With a bit of thinking, he
can tattle about global famine, heart and soul.
Before long, answering his own questions
about how she would have liked his songs
that brought the wind, he said: Serenades.
But his thoughts were still flickering ember,
memories flog him more than he remembers.
She was no longer there to gawk at a sunset.
Why can’t being alone also mean loneliness?
How can he be alone when every twig crackles
under his plodding steps like prodded banshees?
Does answering one’s anguished cry for answers
make for a muted banter with a blurred shadow
grown bloated with silence and unreleased air?
How much can one hurt before stomping them
out, before they smoulder into stoves of harm?
Thoughts of a dry season are querulous here.
There is a thin stream sloshing down a gully
downhill, he would stop there, scoop some
Drip, splash it quickly on his cracked, dry lips.
Not the same as the moist on her mouth,
not her face, not her arms, not her body
pinning him on the clay, supinely submitting
to her threats of amour on the hill, and he
conjuring magic out of a monologue where
he answers his own questions. She’s not there.
Lingering remembrances are scenarios
from a silent picture---lips quiver but voices
are squeaks, quiet like undeveloped films.
---Albert B. Casuga