In Another Life

In Another Life

by Michael Cain


In another age, I would have stayed in one place,
married a sad woman and stayed with her
even when we looked at each other with knives in our eyes.
I would have drank too much, stayed out too late
lamenting with my friends whose lives matched mine
about the sharp turn into the swamp we had not been able
to avoid. I would have longed for a huge black Harley
and a helmet with a fiery satan on its front. I’d have looked
with longing at the empty stretch of highway ahead
as I turned off into the parking lot of the factory
where I glued new tread onto old tires.
The plant would be hot and loud and I’d sneak
a beer on my break, curse the boss beneath my breath.
I would believe whatever the preacher told me,
would pray for a better life after this life of struggle, fire
and futility and would walk the path of anyone who spoke
of meaning and purpose. I would spend long nights
with blended whiskey fighting off the black longing.
In another life, maybe. Not this one.


-refers from the word pray in Scott Owens’ poem The End of Love

  1. Really nice poem. The anti-Prufrock. Leaves one wondering exactly what the speaker does in this life.

  2. Cool poem! It touches on a side of one’s personality, that we don’t usually act on…the reckless side…that side of us we by and large suppress in our day to day lives…something we keep in check. Nice use of language as well.

  3. I like it! Most of us wonder how much better our lives would have been had we made different decisions along the way. This poet says no thanks to that and expresses gratitude for the life he’s got. Great idea, and great job on the poem.

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