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Alec Hershman

Golden Arches


Golden Arches

The more drive-thrus, the more likely
a miracle will happen in one of them.

I have been to the gym, and come
from the glib syllogism: rude, red, health.

The angel occurs not in being
here, and not in not.

The angel in a suburb of attention
has manifold wings.

Doesn't she belong to ex?
If she comes, like I do,

out of the past,
where, then, are her hooks?

Orders go in bags; hungers
in puttering cars.

The door to the forest is warm.
There must be a floor on fire

blazing just behind it.

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The heart of a magpie is hardware
inured of song, subdued by imitation
where cows stand ankle-deep in waste.
A lop-sided rhombus of sun drops
through piebald clouds, like milk,
and ties gold thread to flies as busy with
their minuscule straws as the birds,
so committed to their lies the wind
had come to seem the song, itself, of wafting.
Innocent machines, in pitiful droves,
tread weary through the universe
until, stopping, they construed arenas
in our farms, and industry devised
the tragicomic prototype of wasting
in the first place, in the blue-green rain.
They were not from Mars, though
the imagination with them goes there.
And, too, the moon comes close.
They were not possessed of the same
gravitas that animates our own
mortally prevaricating aims. Still, the ear
was the first of our sensors to be cracked,
and where once the recipe for people
was algorithmically unknown,
the unwitting, cardiac, electronic chorus
here repeats our human foibles.
Think upon them now, and ask
if you are lit, or, by some solar judgment
in your face, the one who's lighting it.

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Alec Hershman is the queer author of Permanent and Wonderful Storage (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), winner of the Robin Becker Chapbook Prize and The Egg Goes Under (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017). He has received awards from the KHN Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, Playa, The Virginia Creative Center for the Arts, and The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. He lives in Michigan where he teaches writing and literature to college students. You can learn more at

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