Alan Elyshevitz is a poet and short story writer from East Norriton, PA. His collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund, was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. In addition, he has published three poetry chapbooks: Imaginary Planet (Cervena Barva), Theory of Everything (Pudding House), and The Splinter in Passion’s Paw (New Spirit). He is a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Currently he teaches writing at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Flesh depleted, bones foreclosed,
an immigrant handles lunch
with fingerless gloves, chewing
it down to petrochemical trash.
This weather discriminates against
the unbuttoned. Snow punctuates
the leafless park. Monuments.
Hibernating grass. The leaden water
of the reflecting pool. A bridge
bisects the river, conflating land
with land. Believing the axiom
on our money, the landless forsake
the cold apartment for the balmy
dream house. February harbors
grievances of an amputated month
Insomnia, Part V
It is a good time to check arithmetic.
Trees are numbered within their cores.
During this night, the dark avarice
of their shadows consumes so much.
Notwithstanding, phosphorescent flies,
airborne and erratic, seem nearly tangible.
The twenty-four-hour day guarantees
that time proceeds in the dark well dressed
in sleeves and collar through the gates
of the arboretum with no one but me to impress.
Barometric pressure afflicts the mind;
I have few thoughts, mainly filaments of thought.
What happens to the inhabitants of woodlands
will happen to us all: dissolution into carbon
and calcium. This is my sole hypothesis.
For now, crickets snicker in the vegetation.