In My Only Life

by Alexander Etheridge


I’ve walked and I’ve walked

through wind-frost and flame, I’ve walked
over the face of the world,
down through deep canyons and up into
hailstorms, all my life,
backward and forward,
lost in the forest for years, going
nowhere—I’ve walked out of rehabs
and mental wards, walked for twelve days straight
and flown up to the moon, came back down,
walked into the wrong home and set it on fire—
walked into bone-saws and rusted nails,
crawled into the ER, and walked out
seven years later.  I’ve walked in a stupor into walls,
and walked away from my father, stumbled into
cemeteries, and later lurched drunkenly
into busy streets.  I’ve walked into courtrooms
with my lawyer, got handcuffed and led out
into jail again—I’ve fled from myself,
moving further and further away,
and walked in circles, gliding
over the eyes of day into lightlessness,
and walked from black dawns
into the graves of dusk, falling out of the seconds,
each second, falling
into the endless hour, and walked all night,
walked away from it all, finally, and fell
once more, and stood up

to walk again.


Alexander Etheridge has been developing his poems and translations since 1998.  His poems have been featured in scissors & spackle, Ink Sac, Cerasus Journal, The Cafe Review, The Madrigal, Abridged Magazine, Susurrus Magazine, The Journal, Roi Faineant Press, and many others.  He was the winner of the Struck Match Poetry Prize in 1999.