Thoracic Park

My crown collides with
five foot four. With one extra,
34 vertebrae elbow for room.

The column winds
from Coccyx to Atlas,
slow mountain road.

Anna Fogel



Puffer jackets, helicoid
shells on street corners,
arrangements formerly
reserved for the
homeless and hopeless,
mollusk to mollusk.
Autumn equalizes.

Anna Fogel


Tags: Poetry Autumn


Man Heading Home On A Bus

His head bobs violently,
eyes unable to focus on
the dark signs passing.

He fights the sleep that
eventually claims him
in his black hooded jacket.

The very thing he paid for
transport betrays him. Its warm
belly rocks him past his stop.

Anna Fogel


Tags: Poetry Winter


On Our 15th Anniversary

The Justice Of The Peace
is conveniently located
on a different road to Emmaus,
in a dull, functional

strip mall. It is raining.
He staggers into the room,
robe open, round-rimmed
tinted glasses on his nose.

He shuffles forms. “Do you want
the one with God, or without?”

No church wedding for us,
no cash for a reception,
no witnesses in Pennsylvania,
in the state we’re in.

"Without." He leans on the pulpit,
dropping the rejected readings,
slurs our vows at us.
We repeat. We find it

entirely appropriate to be married here,
on Christmas Eve, during an office party.

Anna Fogel



Reluctantly, I watch the people
extend through the shopping district,
pass like runway models.

I wonder what they could want
with such purpose. I wait
as my coffee cools in December.

Anna Fogel


Nurse’s Harrow
(or, Walking Away From The Veterinary Field)

I step away for five minutes
fetching medication,
one minute too long.
The black cat turns blue.

I place the breathing tube. 
I could have done better. 
A larger diameter, a four
millimeter for a three?
Just one more.
Small things haunt.

Anna Fogel


Hooves Could Fly

Proprioception is the sense of the body in space.

Close your eyes. Rely on your terminal nerve.

Where are your limbs right now? 
Where precisely
is the thing that will kill you?

This game is sympathetic truth or dare.

Open your eyes. Muscle-memory apprehends

the shape, all melting oils and muscled media,

ears pinned to poll, angry art become horse.

One flawed step and hoof wall meets rib bone

and there’s a punctured lung, a trachea collapsed,

a career cut short. That, or nothing at all.

I sit in the dark behind the barn, aware

of my unscathed arms and unbroken legs,
precisely the location
of my glowing cigarette

Anna Fogel

Reprinted from Eclectica Magazine


Strange Reactions

The potential investor
asks about treating the sub-flooring.
“What about ammonia?”

Chemistry 101:
It’s the ammonia in cat urine,
a toxic excretion of the kidneys,
that you smell.

Why would you add more?
(Please don’t bleach, unless you
are interested in home-made
chemical weapons.)

"Aren’t there different kinds of ammonia?"
He is married to this idea.

Pause. Facial twitch.

No. It’s a compound.
Nitrogen and hydrogen,

It is what it is.

Anna Fogel


On Looking At House #11

Hermit crabs depend upon
limited resources for cover,
count on the death of a gastropod. 
It all hinges on the size of intact
abodes, the abundance of predators, 
their ability to clean house.

With a good real estate agent
and an appropriate hit man,
a little crab can live like a king.

Anna Fogel


Tags: Poetry



Sinewless marching men,
the blood’s heme fall from formation.
This is probably just another
losing bet, waste of time and cash

like the wagers we placed
on the rheumatologist,
the neurologist, the GP;
co-pays squandered at the races.

Herpetologists are now saddled
to calculate the chances
that a urinalysis abnormality
could lead to a diagnosis.

Rarity excites the scientists!
Some sufferers cannot
withstand the sun, some just
slip into comas and die.

But my husband is not a vampire.
Nor are his crutches teeth.
And it’s hard to root for
such a killing disease.

Anna Fogel