John Whalen


The moon was closest as reflected
in the kitchen window where the August
sunset peeled itself from blue to a gray
flashed with embarrassments of pink

that begged the betterment of my mood.
After jotting letters sent next-day air
to Massachusetts, I back-stroked another
hundred laps in the apartment’s small pool.

Summer, that falling glass, that drunk-
and-driving-too-fast friend, was mostly
a suspicion of summer slipping away.
The picnic table held complicated plans in place

while I swam. Missing you— that punked-out
miscreant. That fear of water.



John Whalen’s books include Caliban (Lost Horse Press) and In Honor of the Spigot (Gribble Press), a chapbook. His poems have appeared most recently in Epoch, Ascent, and CutBank. He lives in Spokane.