I who am, in the end, a continual dialogue.

_______ Fernando Pessoa


It rains in the plaza

and the voices of me

huddle like scared chickens

hearing the fox.


I the singular made of

many pieces,

makeshift Hamlet

dreaming a hundred roles

by the fifth act.


Only strangers can do it,

taking what they see

as purchase on the real.


I go by night pretending day.

I keep a gallery full

of diaries

to keep up.


This is our wound

the ancient philosopher said.

Never to be one, never

to gather the shards


into a single basket

and be only

your name.


Doug Bolling’s poetry has appeared widely in literary reviews
including Georgetown Review, Blue Unicorn, Slipstream, Tribeca Poetry Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Wallace Stevens Journal, Marginalia, Indefinite Space and Water-Stone Review among others. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations. After teaching in several colleges and universities, he currently lives in Flossmoor, Illinois, in the greater Chicago area.