Alessio Zanelli

At A Loss poem
Swamp within Parco Isola Giarola, Emilia Romagna, Italy

At A Loss

On a mission. A tiny clod amid still, muddy waters.
Alone, no dueler in front, I draw.
Through the cylinder’s bores—the pupil and the gunpowder,
as the cock rests, waiting for the forefinger.
There’s no getting round it, the hour is striking.
A prayer, or a shot in the dark.
Something is sparkling on the burnished metal,
and it’s no glitter one can keep clear of.
Smell and taste—of old, of new;
of without-a-name and without-an-aim.
Everything would end by the bang,
sharp and soon forgotten.
Light, darkness, dusk.
The unconditioned jerk of the eyelid
and the chore of the thumb;
an instant of sorrowful evening.
Loud croaks from all around the spot.
Either big puddle or small pond,
still greedy frogs leap-infest this foul world unseen.
Staring motionless, as if stunned—no smoke from the barrel.
Isn’t it funny? Nothing and nobody is attending,
yet I feel taken by too many things.

First published in Poetry News (UK)