Now that I am Never Alone

By Tess Gallagher b. 1943 Tess Gallagher
In the bath I look up and see the brown moth
pressed like a pair of unpredictable lips
against the white wall. I heat up
the water, running as much hot in as I can stand.
These handfuls over my shoulder—how once
he pulled my head against his thigh and dipped
a rivulet down my neck of coldest water from the spring
we were drinking from. Beautiful mischief
that stills a moment so I can never look
back. Only now, brightest now, and the water
never hot enough to drive that shiver out.
But I remember solitude—no other
presence and each thing what it was. Not this raw
fluttering I make of you as you have made of me
your watch-fire, your killing light.

Tess Gallagher, “Now That I Am Never Alone” from Moon Crossing Bridge. Copyright © 1992 by Tess Gallagher. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press,

Source: Moon Crossing Bridge (Graywolf Press, 1992)

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Poet Tess Gallagher b. 1943

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Relationships, Love

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Tess  Gallagher


Poet, essayist, and short story writer Tess Gallagher was born in 1943 in Port Angeles, Washington, to a logging family. Her early years were marked by the rhythms of seasonal work, as well as the landscape of both the Northwest and the Ozarks, where her grandparents lived. “I don’t know how many children really get to explore vast amounts of territory like that,” she has said in interviews. “It builds something in you.” . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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