1995

Joshua Medsker


Twenty-two and time to pay off—

Slipping down Northern Lights Boulevard.
Slipping down the drain.

Can’t seem to find my footing.
So alone. You know what I’m talking about.

You get so below sometimes
You want to keep digging that hole

Like going down into a frozen lake
so beautiful and desolate
That you never want to come up

But then

You see the moon looking at you
Like a diamond
or sometimes
obsidian eye, but always looking at you

It sees all of your desires.
And the only thing realer than your desires
is the ache

And you get no relief! After thinking of this poem, no relief!
After writing this poem, no relief! It just aches and aches
and no relief, and the only thing realer than the ache is the dark,
and the only way to lose the dark is to go

—to the other side of that light
that moon that proves that light exists, that other places are real—

and it doesn’t matter where, it only matters when—just GO, now! Get on a plane,
take a taxi down the AlCan, I’ll walk if I have to, I’ll just go, and before you can
say “where’d he go”, I’ll be gone, gone from this frozen wasteland, from these
icicle bars, this frozen prison, oh

Watch me now.


Josh Medsker is a New Jersey poet, originally from Alaska. His debut collection, Cacophony, was published in 2019 by Alien Buddha Press. His writing has appeared in many publications, including: Contemporary American Voices, The Brooklyn Rail, Haiku Journal, and Red Savina Review. For a complete list of Mr. Medsker’s publications, please visit his website. (www.joshmedsker.com)