Alan Walowitz is a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry.
His chapbook, Exactly Like Love,
comes from Osedax Press. The full-length, The Story of the Milkman and Other Poems,
is available from Truth Serum Press. Most recently, from Arroyo Seco Press, is the chapbook In the Muddle of the Night
, written both trans-continentally, and mostly remotely, with poet Betsy Mars.
The Shape of the Table
I always wanted prominent cheekbones,
hips that could swivel on a dime
and the stop and start
of the divine choir singing low, then high–
and all my desires non-negotiable.
But what if it happens
I want a world pretty much the same
as all this mess, its jostle and parry?
These dying days, I might even settle on
the lonely battle for a final breath.
What the hell? It could get worse.
Truth is, my life is largely lived
and I’m plumb out of imagining what’s to come,
which seems right around the bend,
near and unseeable as the back of my head.
When the barber holds a mirror up,
I only pretend to look,
and offer instead the maddening, It is what it is,
which has always seen me through–
accompanied by this feeling I get in my chest,
both hollowed and pulsing,
and, I hope, like a distant star in its final throes.
Some say to me, in surprise mingled in woe,
Since when did you become so wise?
Let them try this on for size:
No square can be circled without some cutting–
which can be very painful.
No circle can be squared without amendments–
and it takes so long, here on earth,
to fashion us into any shape
that might actually do some good.