Fall 2021, Volume 31

Poetry by Paul Ilechko


It was a blessing    

the animals in their cages    
without sadness     their breath
as slow as ice in motion

their love as deep as a broken
century     relinquishing shards of
time     like last year’s oak leaves

if there’s only one way out
of here     I expect to see you
again     before you leave     

your mask loose around your
collar     an untouched
coffee cup next to your hand    

believe in the animals
nothing else will save you.




BIO: Poet and songwriter Paul Ilechko is the author of three chapbooks, most recently Pain Sections (Alien Buddha Press). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Rogue Agent, Ethel, San Pedro River Review, Lullwater Review, and Book of Matches. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.