Skip to content

Log Out



Fumbled out of bed this a.m., half past five,
the darkness choking me as I kept thinking, “Am I alive?”
The panic sinking in, and me gasping simply to survive.

The feel of it. Death sitting bored there, yawning. All that jive.
And you, trying to assemble your thoughts and revive.
Gasping to recall where you are. Trying to arrive

on solid footing, like: Who am I? Or what? That beehive
of jumbled thoughts, and what was I trying to derive
from these books to anchor me, only to end in a nosedive

here, now, as all the doors lock down, struggling to connive
a way out though some narrow gate (please God), strive-
ing for air, blessèd air, to breathe in. Out. Staying alive.



Paul Mariani is an Emeritus University Professor of English at Boston College. A poet, biographer, memoirist, critic, and essayist, his poems appeared in the initial issue of Image. His latest books of poetry are Ordinary Time and All That Will Be New (both from Slant).




Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

Image depends on its subscribers and supporters. Join the conversation and make a contribution today.

+ Click here to make a donation.

+ Click here to subscribe to Image.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Receive ImageUpdate, our free weekly newsletter featuring the best from Image and the world of arts & faith

* indicates required