[10.5 ToC]



Alec Hershman

1. (fever)

                  Coming back to the world I thought whose hands do these look like and what, anyway, to do with them. A stranger to these pockets. Why—the way I glance, as though a harshening—have such kindnesses been unexpected? They were never bad to me here. The drivers turning me out were the same drill bits of any boy hungering. I went on. The rest no greater in its forages. I wanted to shake from a pandemonium of leaves some offering. But I had nothing to give the scavenger. Had no nose for it. At any rate, the mercury settled—(a hospitable body)—and I returned saying little visit, it's just a visit.






2. (leaves)

                     It was the same tree under a lower condition of weather—I saw the vertices, the starker character of its forks. Goodbye polygon, I thought of the almost-like-fans, spread, not touching. And beneath these, the leaves—Glomming was only one way to say their central activity, otherwise swarming the curb. Predictably, as in spring, some came as some went. We removed the bandages. Said all at once. Laissez-faire.






3. (little visit)

                           When it was dark enough with a dermal buzzing of the poultice we would hide inside the piles and hatch, twirling—human moon-carnations in streetlight. No compunction towards responsible sleep, the window heads turned to lamps. We had our own dead to protect. A gate spinning on its hinge called out for its friend, the fence, and I passed as best I could.
      In morning I woke to a bumblebee wintering in the shadow slats. My finger as a bridge. The attenuated meaning of mercy. Of mercifully.







A NOMINAL BRIDGE happened somewhere in between the laundromat and the street outside my house. I began writing while waiting for the dryers. By the time I got home it was dark. The streetlight clicked on and conjured a strange childhood which seemed somehow connected to the vagrant speaker in the poem. I sat in the car until the bumblebee came to me.