Poetry by Alex Wells Shapiro

"REM" by Donna Vorreyer / Donna Vorreyer
The coasts are destined to break off from the mainland, a sore hangnail primed for its final rip, so when the Chamber of Commerce rezoned the harbor park near our village metro stop across from a valley of empty condos & we all got jobs working backstock at the Shoppes, I chose the one closest to the water, a shoe boutique specializing in boat friendly soles.

As I sort by barcode, John Sterling’s play by play meanders out the radio & echoes thru ceiling high shelf rows set my body width apart, pauses filled by the deep whirr of accelerated tectonic motion under our foundation & the ocean’s resolute purr.

He whips up into his signature schtick a little too often, but those outbursts are tentpoles supporting our systematized lilt.

I believe the break will be clean because I need the distraction. We’ll float off & bust up the vending machine with a Brannock Device & peel away the glass shards & subsist freely until we abut a new shore.

If we just sink I think I’ll hear the signs in time; I’ll escape.

leaky pipes quiet the fire
my sink
                     . .
assume an oil splatter sustains cause
the drip’s never fully extinguished it
                           . .
after the basin drains perspiration & dance
patter from the cabinets signal rekindling
         . .
shadows lap
across my walls
                     . .
I count them & hum to songs I swear
I heard elsewhere until it’s too late
           . .
run the bath-
room faucet
         . .
(a steady
                     . .
insurgent radiance is destined
to assimilate into sunrise
                  . .
the stream under
girders my dreams

Alex Wells Shapiro (he/him) is a poet from the Hudson Valley, living in Chicago. He serves as Poetry Editor for Another Chicago Magazine, and co-curates Exhibit B: A Literary Variety Show. He is the author of a full length collection of poems, Insect Architecture (Unbound Edition, 2022), and a chapbook, Gridiron Fables (Bottlecap Features, 2022). More of his work can be found at alexwellsshapiro.com