Four More

by Eli Makovetsky

Illustration by Eve O'Shea & Peter Lees

published November 16, 2018

Once Childhood

Dismissing worries


a professional

palm reader,


you never and always

talk to me about bees,

their outlines wasted

on filament paper.


Oh where did we leave

the car? I, little and

unsure, pull forget-




mother trees fruit

            too sickly,

                           an uneaten chrysalis.

salted knots

        uncoil like my sister’s

shade, peeled

       apart in summer

           she died on summer tides

                insisting; a sharp

                     freeze will damage

                         cell membranes,

              oceans go solid three

               point four degrees

         colder than oranges



We were a family spending our Sundays not far from home—car-park concrete distorted by winter. Inside a giant cockatoo swung flips at a pet shop but not much else. Flying up, running down the hallway, “When my work is over, and my day is done, I’m going to fly away home.” They told us at Sydney’s, fish hid behind glass walls when crayons at the table bled their ink into water, the restaurant closed shortly after. The day she was born I woke up to a promise that the world was secure on its axis, odd considering a bunk bed kept me flat near the ceiling. When we went to the hospital instead of seeing her, Mom and Dad had to tell us.


Pillars of Salt

your voice’s notes

land on my sternum,

ease in,

ease in, acclimating

to bone.

you said i was

a flower on a lemon

tree each petal cool

to the touch,

relaxing in the shade

of branches we missed

the fruit.

i hinted that thunder

no longer moved me

               and you asked

for a shell without

hard edges,

to place on your grave

after you died.

when I came back

to the cemetery

there was no milksap, only winter


in the quiet of the stone.