Portland, Maine, Circa Winter 1988

Thirty years since those nights 
of dressing in that small bedroom—
black spandex tights, turtleneck, gloves,
layer after layer, and then I step
through the doorway into the future 
of the open street, its blast of cold,
and I jog past the mansion, its for-sale sign
flapping from the one screw left
that anchors it to the post,
and I pick my way through slush
and skids of black ice and follow
the promenade as it winds past 
the cemetery that’s always open,
the grave stones small gray sails
listing in the wind, the first flakes
of the nearing Nor’easter caught
in a street light, and I step 
into the lit circle, never 
more alone or less lonely since. 

James Wyshynski received his MFA from the University of Alabama. He is a former editor of the Black Warrior Review. His poems have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Terminus, River Styx, Interim, The Chattahoochee Review, The Cortland Review, Barrow Street, Permafrost and are forthcoming in the Stoneboat, Nimrod, and others. He currently lives and works in Marietta, Georgia.