Elegy for the Turtle

Eleanor Levine

I will be sad for a moment
because she used words
like “quotidian”—and “it’s ok
to discuss your $900 compressor
and reckless use of verbs in the debonair
literary journal”
Her pauses like
denuded trees eclipsing with
people I knew in high school
and bipolar geniuses who
spent hundreds to see cherry blossoms
Her green strokes in lilacs and
soap suds verbs with trepidation
The Zionists are not Nazis
Golden retrievers are Labradoodles
Gay swamp beaches/your Subaru needs AC
The mundane and Philip Roth’s gonads
Looking for the cinereal in iPads,
consulting with world experts
on the demise of this coupling;
the dead horse I’m beating,
in this case, the dead turtle,
whose wife divorced her
and acquired an immune disease
so irreparable she left me
while I read my soul to a room
filled with Beastie Boys.


Eleanor Levine received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University (Roanoke, VA) in 2007. Her poetry collection, Waitress at the Red Moon Pizzeria, was published by Unsolicited Press (Portland, OR) in 2016. Her short story collection, Kissing a Tree Surgeon, was accepted for publication by Guernica Editions (Canadian publisher).