Sugar Blizzard of the Wishful Thought

by Alec Hirshman

To shrink the yard to a kind of room,
the town to a draft in a hall,
there’s snow, lots of it. To figure myself
a shade, I flush behind a cigarette
and send my double-breath from the stoop
to the smokestack. Bricks cascade
a crisp curtain for the eye
but then their gingham pleats just stutter
down to factory doors.
Winter is a well-dressed opium girl
the high clouds shrug about.
Over the shed spread of whiteness—
ancestral dander, the dusted homes
left untaken. And when the smoke,
just like them, leaves, I remain
to see fashionistas in the trees, an orange
tom increasing himself near juniper.
From behind, I can’t say
whether he does or does not carry
a blue mouth full of rabbit
or what clean notions of distance
a winter-cat must have.

Alec Hershman lives in Michigan. He has received awards from the KHN Center for the Arts, The Jentel Foundation, The St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, and the The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design. More of his poems appear in recent issues of Wisconsin Review, The Pedestal, Posit, Bodega, Western Humanities Review, and Hobart. Find out more at