Whitman Alone

by on March 15, 2024 :: 0 comments

Imagine: there he is—
walking, one hand holding
the other, a solitary
late afternoon stroll,
crossing and re-crossing
the streets, swaying down
to the river, humming
an aria as the ferry lifts
him over the water
to the city of his poem
and back again, conferring
with the conductor, the smell
of fish and salt and sweat
from the workers who rush
home as the six bells warn:
the dark is here, go
warm yourselves, not one
knowing or caring to know
the tall hefty bearded son
with the cocked-back hat
and the hysterical eyes
who stumbles along walkways
and mumbles to himself,
laughing his fool head off.
Watch him a while,
around and round the wharf,
looking at sailors, pissing
against the side of buildings—
it almost justifies this moment
as the dark comes on
and the neighborhood shuts
its windows to the chill
and wind in bare branches,
crows gawking crazily
and he out there
looking up at the stars
and scratching his chin—
it makes sense, imagine—
the whole of us wait
in the balance.

– Philip Terman

editors note:

We await his words along with him. – mh clay

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