About Michael Alpiner:
Michael Alpiner has been an English teacher in New York City for the past 22 years. He
earned a B.A. in English from Queens College, and a Masters of Arts in Education from
Hofstra University. He is enrolled again in Queens College where he is working on his
Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry. He hosts an open mic and runs a poetry workshop at
Barnes and Noble in Fresh Meadows, NY. Michael has published work in Jewish
Currents, Soul Fountain, theversemarauder.com, New Works Review, Cosmopsis,
Freshet 2006 & 2007, Blood to Remember (an anthology of Holocaust-related poetry
from Time Being Books), Names in a Jar (Hood Press), Mobius, and most recently, Pike
Magazine. Michael attended the Vermont Studio Center in August of 2004, where he
completed Pebbles from the Village, an autobiographical poetry memoir of his family's
European immigrant experience, and began work on a second poetry manuscript that
documents his successful battle with Hodgkin's Disease.
Saying Goodbye to Summer
by Michael Alpiner

There were woods, and the woods gave way
to a small path of mud and dry reeds.
It was October, and most of the life
had honked its way into the distance
of a sunset sky of faded violet.

There was a clearing, and our blanket
was a bandage of cotton behind the pond,
hidden from eyes but not cool air.
It was October, but a glimmer of summer
announced itself somewhere between us.

This is the palpable in an abstract world,
the flesh-born memories for future years,
dried tubers and branches scraping your calves,
my arms with their roots in the ground,
we loved with the barest of sounds.

Somewhere Beneath Foliage

The branches shook with the motion of us,
a hidden arbor, rapture on the hillside.
Flies chanced a momentary refuge,
shot away at the chaos we call love.
This spot took nearly an hour to find,
passing clouds, distant enormous trees,
blue air and convenient foliage to shield us,
or hold our clothes.
A party of gulls screamed at the sight of us,
tall grass matted down like hair,
you kept saying I can't believe we're here.

We have always ended up like this -
sanctuary for wildlife, a cemetery, suburban backyard.
We are Adam and Eve, though I doubt
the first to blaspheme this acre of land.
Life dripped from a nearby sapling,
we got dressed in a hurry,
rolling hillside, spotted with daffodils
too young to have witnessed this.
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