Alan Elyshevitz: “Identity”


It would take an actuary
to count this colony of old Jews
who frequent a tailor from Palermo.
Once, I was a teacher, married late.
Polymorph, I am a composite
of chromosomes and scars.
Sometimes my old bull mastiff
perceives me as nothing,
sometimes everything.


Alan Elyshevitz is the author of a collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund (SFA Press), and three poetry chapbooks, most recently Imaginary Planet (Cervena Barva). His poems have appeared in River Styx, Nimrod International Journal, and Water ̴ Stone Review, among many others. Winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review and the Nightjar Poetry Prize, he is also a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For further information, visit

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