As the sun crosses the meridian dividing the house,

the day slows down, and the living room becomes whiter.

Beside the door, the wall phone becomes a dark

question mark. Is this the loneliest hour?

Across the street, people are talking and looking at

traffic as they wait for the bus. There are days

when I walk among them and wonder if I am

the only one who feels this aloneness.

Taking my place between the wall and an easy chair,

I look at the wall calendar with its pictures of airports,

and its days categorized and enumerated. Monday,

I have coffee and a muffin at Denny’s.

Tuesday, I eat at the Wienerschnitzel’s by the beach.

Every day, I eat and return to this room about this time.

Most days I want something, but it is not coffee,

or Earl Grey, or Chianti, or beer.

It is an insatiable desire for something that would

tie me to city where the people are getting off work

or heading towards the restaurants in Little Italy.

Looking at the calendar, I see its people walking.

I move to the window overlooking the bay. As the sunsets,

I watch the ocean’s waves, the boardwalk, and the city’s

geography slowly fading in the day’s last light. Now loneliness

seems to haunt the day no longer as outside my window

the ocean merges with the sky, and I wonder if in 40 years,

I too will be among those who lived and died lonely.

1974

 

 

Joe Milosch graduated from San Diego State University. His poetry has appeared in various magazines, including the California Quarterly. He has multiple nominations for the Pushcart and received the Hackney Award for Literature. His books are The Lost Pilgrimage Poems and Landscape of a Hummingbird.