Easy to Forget

Ori Fienberg

We’ve all seen drunken wave

mistakes on summer nights

when an awry wind picks up


pillars of yellow suds, to soak

a bed of peanuts and shells in

a second unintentional wave,


or risk of choking. But this

presents an opportunity, not

to choke, but new growth in


every stadium which the rain

still visits. Every day is digging

up then replanting, if possible


to save unknown bushes, and

bulbs, or earthworms hoping

to start anew from the middle:


a new mouth is a new purpose

and a new purpose is a new

destination that we can barely


see, like the view over fences

to the lake, which carries on

chewing at the shore, mashing


retaining barrier rocks to sand

during yet another moon-driven

stress-dream; I refuse to wash


the sheets, as if grittiness can

substitute for closed beaches,

or streets, or road barriers;


you can ignore irritants invited

into your own home, as sirens

wail all night; we should change


our sheets, but they’ve become

to heavy just from the news we

read in bed each morning, and


that is our commute; the past

reminds us like an alarm clock

we keep forgetting we’ve set.

Ori Fienberg has work appearing and forthcoming in venues including the Cincinnati Review, Essay Daily, Heavy Feather Review, Pank, Rattle, and Reed Magazine. His collection of poetry Old Habits, New Markets, was chosen as the winner of the Elsewhere 2020 Contest. Ori develops resources to support academic integrity, and teaches poetry writing for Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies. Ori lives in Evanston, with his PWD Millie, and partner, essayist Emily Maloney.