Neighborhood Watch

Alec Hershman


Tree-rates are at an all time low
and yet in moments between prayer
and dream she can be seen rehearsing
for a thump against the house.
Already sleep has made the husband
useless, jagged along one edge
where the moths have fallen dull
like pencil shavings, diurnal,
and lazy on the new plan. It’s as if
he’s made of dunegrass, and they
are the shore. Perhaps there is no intruder
that has not already entered the mind.
Because she thinks of it, she is a well-
intentioned, though terrifying bear,
pigeon-toed and lumbering down
a hill to him. His husband-skin
is fishscales where he too is too long
fallen to the bed. Rolling him over,
her hunger wanes at the plenitude,
the moths get crushed to paste,
and the moon grows a little brighter.




Alec Hershman is the 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