Alan Walowitz (www.alanwalowitz.com) has been published various places on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, is in its second printing and is available from Osedax Press. His full-length book, The Story of the Milkman and other poems, was published in May 2018 by Truth Serum Press.
That pinging from the bottom of the sea
may be from a sailor gnashing his teeth on the mast
or rattling his spoon on the rusted iron fittings of the gunwales.
I hear it when I submerge to sleep–
though it’s cold and wet down there
and many nights like a slap across the face.
But mostly the thought of you– far away, unreachable–
keeps me pinned to the here and now–
and not in any reverie —
the tossing of the sheets in furrows and swells
bind me to life as I know it too well,
where it’s only the sound of the kitchen humming,
the appliances heating up the world so long into night.
Know, this is not where I’d choose to remain,
as if choice could apply to any tale of man versus sea,
or seeing a light so bright and strange
and other reports– false, thank god! –of another life after this.
My teeth will turn to mush, in the brackish water,
then I’m stuck the night, hardly able to move my feet
in the silt and loam down the bottom of my bed,
the tools I’ve brought along useless as a spoon underwater.