Where Does Alone Live?


All the years I pined
for alone, and here she is
oh, hello

Alone lived on the moon
when hormones ruled my household, my own
waning like a sweating crescent, and dueling
with the girls’, rising in shimmers
there was no alone

Give me alone

Alone had to be invited in, rarely
accepted or welcomed, alone
was loud, sarcastic, even in an empty
night I’d find a phone beeping
somewhere, a wet towel dripping
wooden floor warping, an uncovered
plate of leftovers souring
in the fridge screaming, ‘ha!
you are never alone’

Oh,  give me alone

I’d wake up in the dark and hug
a cold pillow, wonder if maybe
alone found its way in, snuck
through the open window
a small bit of wind carrying pine, or snow,
giving a hint of alone hiding all I had
to do was walk
outside alone

Alone was a concept a dream or memory
mom drinking cheap bourbon alone smoking BelAirs
silhouetted by late night blue TV, ‘Here’s Johnny,’ so she would not feel
so alone

How like her am I?

I seek alone too, read big novels stock full
of characters who I love or hate, and love to love or hate
alone lives between each chapter
inside the small breath I take
before I turn the page, alone
might live in next

I chased after it pleading praying
racing down an unpopular trail seeking solace
flirting with this notion of alone
and here she is all mine


her hold, like wallpaper, her offer of greater
solace stickier than marriage, than any I could ever find
this treasure this luxury here I am
alone I turn on the radio

Alone lives in the competition of how strong and independent I can be
falling into my lover’s arms, thinking I never want to be
alone, consider partnership, permanence, a request
to take all the alone away because too often alone
is too tempted by lonely or by lone
they get confused
or I do

How lonely are the couples of the worlds
the snorers who sleep alone, the moaners
the sleepwalkers and the lucid dreamers
how many lonely unalone people do I know
how many have I professed to never be
I would rather be alone than lonely

I pine for their noise, the girls
back to the girls, it always goes back to the girls
consider their dish in the sink
coffee cup on the nightstand
sopping bathing suits on the floor
and mostly the lump of girl sleeping
under piles of blankets that moment before I wake her
tell her it’s time

That is the alone I want
as timid and tentative as a whisper
‘good morning, sweetie’
careful not to alarm or interrupt
but to call her out of her sleep
and into my alone

I want an alone that never leaves off the first syllable
never ‘lone never
adds the dreaded second
syllable -ly
no lee to my lone

only alone

Interrupt my alone, please
perched precariously
on the edge of lonely
push me back from the suffix
keep me safe in alone in the space between
restless and an empty pillow
that hollow gap where a baby
once nestled
never alone.



ristopher Roller

One thought on “Where Does Alone Live?

Add yours

  1. All our alones…. Your poem inspired me to have a conversation with alone, as well. Here’s the result:

    Alone Lives

    I don’t know alone very well,
    a mindful centering scares me,
    the alone that resides in my hands,
    my breath, my lighted pathway at dusk
    that leads me to the driveway.

    In alone there is so much opportunity,
    a flinging away of responsibility,
    freedom from all that anchors
    to not alone. Rock into the push
    and pull, dive into the places
    where alone lives, and stay there
    without the impulse to resurface.

    The ocean of everything, the salt
    of the earth, the turn-around rock
    after four miles up hill from the house
    into the barrancas, the only other
    than my body are birds and juniper,
    rocks and cholla, the sky usually blue,
    the sun rising over Truchas Peaks.

    No one sees my arms out,
    my face up to feel the sun.
    I forget, for just a moment, my self
    and all its sharp edges, forget gravity,
    the hold the earth has on me,
    because I’ve entered the place
    where alone lives alone.


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