Alec Hershman

Ceteris Paribus

Pleasure and its wispy finger 
curling over decades

like the shared shade of pale objects:
lantern, fan, and wall. Sometimes

I see my young friends elderly, 
smaller in their skin 

for harbor minutes
when to remember 

to fill the boat with kindness 
papers the throat like a thick stripe 

of fire to my breast. Blush wind. 
I cut them loose, in a saying 

kept unsaid. Again, again 
this rock like the head of a siren

broken over by waves. 
The approximate chapter of the water 

is somewhere in the middle so we may stay 
a little longer, a little longer. 

Alec Hershman lives in St. Louis. He has received awards from The Kimmel-Harding-Nelson Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, and The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. More of his poems will soon be available in Parcel, Permafrost, The Cortland Review, The Tule Review, and Puerto del Sol. You can also find him online at