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Poetry / Alex C. Eisenberg

‘Breakdown’, ‘Towers’
& ‘Daffodils’

Issue 3. January 15, 2022


They say she was woken too early one morning

& walked herself out to the marine fogged field

in her bathrobe & bare feet. They say she stepped

straight up to the electro-net fence where

on the other side the rude rooster racketed

& they say she—wrapped in wrinkles & baby blue

—bent her creaky elbows back like wings

arched her old & aching spine & released her own cackling crow

which they say roused the whole village from their sleep.

They say she didn't stop howling for some time

but when she did they say it was without fanfare

or even a word. & they say she left right then—

went to the mountains or some place quiet so

she could sleep in peace. & when months later she returned

they say she resumed her simple life

smiling, no mention of that morning

nor the span of silence since; the rooster they say

long dead by then.




The day before your father died

you stacked syrup-slathered pancakes

tall, til the tower tilted far

over a moat of bacon and butter

which rung the plate like protection

for a war we weren't going to wage.


We’d willingly lower that drawbridge

—welcome his death with decadence.

He'd already made his choice and we

only had to surrender to it

like butter gives itself to batter

or warm bread.        In the morning


the fat relaxed back into the pan

as we reheated what remained.

We sat in the sun and savored such sweetness

as is served only with a side of sorrow. Then

he drank his promised poison like a king

relinquishing his throne, white flag waving


bravely, and when it was my turn to climb

the tower to where he'd fallen asleep forever

I found his lumpy body limp and barely

breathing, stacked on itself, tall, tilted

bridge-like, spanning the pool of love

the others’ bodies, melting, made.






It’s been almost a year.           I know

because the daffodils are blooming again.

I can’t stay long so I cut some to take—

their severed ends dripping like your mouth did

when you died. Your son wiped it from your face

with his bare hand like it was nothing like he

later wiped me from his life. I only came back

for the flowers. Put the stems in a bottle brimming

which overflowed and fell like the dead

dried petals still littering our abandoned altar.

There is intimacy in the stories we share

but nothing can spare us our loneliness. The daffodils

oozed sticky strands of pus from their dying mouths

stringing down from my shaking hand and stretching

back toward the earth, like his hand stretched

sweetly for your ceraceous face, like mine still

reaches for him, for you, for this sacred and

desecrated place.







Alex C. Eisenberg is a child of the western high desert and the pacific northwest rainforest, with ancestral ties to Eastern Europe. Her soul is rooted in these wonderful landscapes and her writing springs forth from that connection. Alex currently lives by candlelight with her partner, their beloved cats, and their flock of misfit chickens in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains. To read more of her work, follow @alexceisenberg on Twitter or visit

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