Fall 2021

Elegy for a Reprieve

By Alice Fritz

You were at a desk
Across an aisle
Behind a plexiglass plate
Behind a mask
And glasses
And a face
That isn’t yours

The judge said
Your body must remain
Apart from me 100 yards
And not go there
Where I park my car
At night
Your words should not
Reach me
By phone or mail
Or go-betweens

And I should not replace
A flat in a blizzard
Aided by
The underground
In the hollow
Me dicen,
No puede ser
Was cot—cut
¿entiendes?
The judge left
that part out

You never did
Those things

I wanted to see you today
I wished you would have
Been there
You tried; I know

I picture you peeking
Out the windows
Like you did
In your troubles
Waving behind your
Brow
Reaching your gnarled hand
Out your body’s mouth
To hold mine
Like you used to

To pet my hair
Absently
As cartoon
Spaceships
depart

But I exit the courtroom
First
To the side
My eyes averted
From the stain
Hiding yours
Escorted by the Marshall
For my safety
Alone
To the blowing snow


Alice Fritz is an artist, writer, and recovering software engineer residing in the greater NYC Metro area. Her articles have been published in news and trade media, and her poetry in the anthology of the Warm Kitty Institute. Her artwork has been mentioned by the CBC, published in Humana Obscura, and Paper Magazine, and included in shows at the Silvermine Guild Art Gallery, the Creative Arts Workshop Gallery, and the The Gallery at Still River Editions. More at https://salt.vg.

Fall 2021