Loose Ends

By: Gregory Djanikian

Featured art: Starry Night and the Astronauts by Alma Thomas

I’ve been pacing the afternoon
like a high-wire walker
from room to room
counting the steps.

Dear Flying Wallendas,
help me reach out across the canyon
of lost connections.
Philippe Petit, speak to me
as if I were your balancing pole.

The letters I’ve written—
let them send me back a sign
they’ve been thumbed.
Let the numbers I’ve called
redial themselves till sun-up.

It’s the neighbor’s pickup driving away
pinging gravel with its tires,
it’s the geese barking the end of summer
that’s got me wishing for binoculars.

The fall leaves are floating down
as if they had something important
to say to the ground.

It’s been Sunday here all week.
I’m holding out for big-box deliveries.
I’m waiting in my soft-soled shoes
for the dog to bark.

Someone, come knock on my door.
Let’s see who’s inside.


Gregory Djanikian has published seven collections of poems with Carnegie Mellon, the latest of which is Sojourners of the In-Between (2020). His poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies and have been featured on Fresh Air and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He was for many years the director of creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and now lives with his wife, the painter Alysa Bennett, near Philadelphia.

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