I Didn’t Expect

I didn’t expect it to be so lonely.
Cooled by the dry air into cracks,
The fractures of a life
Lived too much
Too eagerly
The cracks and wrinkles of age at 25,
Wine in the morning,
Tears at night.

God I didn’t expect it to be so lonely
Sipping on the liquor of my disappointment,
Flicking embers from my fingers—
That impartial anger—
Singing the edges of words
And the corners of blankets
With the heat of the country that bore this—
Whoever she is—

I didn’t expect this loneliness.
Alone in the afternoons
Silent in the sealed houses,
The rooms full of glass
So impertinently unbroken,
So mischievously whole.

I didn’t ask for this loneliness,
God knows I didn’t ask,
Followed by ghosts into the dark spaces of my past,
Whispering in the unhurried way
Of ghosts
That quickening of the blood,
That little lick at the back of your throat
That says
Hush and hurry
Don’t linger too long.

I didn’t expect it to be so lonely,
Calmed to pieces by the lull of paved highways,
Friction between tires and road
Gleaming along like the shell of an egg
Like the calm of a morning
Unshattered by church songs.

It’s the loneliness of smooth surfaces,
The solitude of preservatives,
The isolation of efficiency
That I didn’t expect.


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