Debby; Play By Play; Not Fade Away


I can remember still

the slope of the green dell,

the blade of grass between Dave’s lips

while we watched Debby and her shifting hips

stroll toward us, an impish, tilted grin

kindling her pale face as she navigated the narrow lane.

After we told our tales and smoked our smokes

and after I recalled her as a tumbling child:

(even then she’d surprise me with secret pokes

in secret places. Oh, she was brimful of need

even at eleven, that buoyant, neglected girl),


we three sat on the sloping hill, our hands

behind us on the damp grass, our souls expanding,

as the bluing sky seemed to expand the dell, with love

for Deb, for David, for me, for the dark that fell from above

when she turned to me and drew my hands to her small breasts.


It’s safe to say that men like Claudius

Outnumber Hamlets by the thousands.

Cunning, crude, greedy, bland,

They adjudicate like sports announcers.

“Unmanly grief,” they tut to mourners,

“Impious stubbornness,” they shake their heads

And turn their eyes from pain to watch the game

And turn their caps around like youngsters.

As if grief were lengthed at nine innings

Or four quarters, or sixty cold minutes.

Or even five long acts. The heart’s very lining

Will fray in tatters as the center keeps pumping

Away and sorrow learns to tack the infinite,

While umpires on couches continue their counting.

Not Fade Away

And if you fade, fade as slowly

as a deeply bruised shoulder.

Black and purple come first

then livid blue then a lash of yellow.

The pain starts sharp, soon aches,

and next is tender to the touch,

and in a bit it’s gone for good,

leaving not so much as a flutter.


Your shadow, though, must remain

to keep me warm under its green throw.

And I’ll be grateful, my love,

for I refuse to yield this grief.

I’ll rest beneath your calming shade

as still as stone, all tears.

Alec Solomita’s fiction has appeared in The Mississippi Review, Southwest Review, Ireland’s Southword Journal, and The Adirondack Review, among other publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal, and named a finalist by the Noctua Review. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Algebra of Owls, The Lake, The Galway Review, Panoplyzine, The Blue Nib, FourXFour, Bold+Italic, and elsewhere. His chapbook, “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017. He lives in Massachusetts.