Eva Schlesinger









After my dad died, when friends gathered in our living room,

I saw him sitting on our white loveseat

He was beaming

He wore navy blue pants and a white shirt

I was excited that he was there

The next day I saw him sitting in our white tweed armchair

reading The New York Times

holding the corner between his thumb and forefinger before turning the page

grinning with an impish gleam in his eye

He looked amused

I liked watching him turn the pages

When people gathered the next evening,

they packed our living room, overflowing into our hallway

They stood praying, reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish

My dad stood on the outskirts between the staircase and front door

His face looked serious, as it always did when he prayed

He wore dark blue pants and bent his knees, slightly swaying

He held the worn prayer book, chanting the melodies

When my mom took me to the train station,

we sat on a bench opposite the platform, and

I saw my dad standing on its far right side

Dressed in navy blue pants, white shirt, and navy blue winter jacket,

he raised his cane high in the air, then down again

I couldn’t bear to tear my eyes away

Come back, come back, I wanted to tell him

Back home, I wanted to feel his presence everyday

While standing at the bus stop,

I was thinking of him when suddenly I heard him

whistle high and long, short and low

My head jerked to see who was whistling

I couldn’t see anyone

One night I held my hand up against his photo next to my bed

I pressed my hand to his face

It pulsed back

He pushed against my hand



I Hear Him


I hear How are you, my dear?

I see him beaming.

I hear him laughing a generous, hearty, full-bellied laugh.

I feel his spirit all around me.

I feel his spirit sashaying, zigzagging, shimmying all around me.

I smell orange blossoms, jasmine, honeysuckle.

I taste dark rye pumpernickel with gouda, and dark chocolate covered marzipan.

I know I’m home.


I hear him whistling short and high, then long and low, short, then long.

He gets my attention that way in the store, when I can’t decide whether to get the spiralbound royal blue notebook with eighty pages

or the robin’s egg one with 150 pages,

and he’s standing in line for the cashier.

I see him in his navy blue pants and white shirt

with his navy blue checkbook cover

peeking out of his white chest pocket.

I feel his spirit all around me.

I feel his spirit sashaying, zigzagging, shimmying all around me.

I smell honeysuckle, pink roses, sea salt air.

I taste sea salt on my lips.

I know I’m home.


I hear him say, Don’t do anything rash.

I see him puttering, hunched over.

I feel his spirit all around me.

I feel his spirit sashaying, zigzagging, shimmying all around me.

I smell eucalyptus.

I taste the salt of my tears.


I know he’s with me.

I hear him.





Wrapped Up In Dreams


She is holding the book, Wrapped Up In Dreams

She is wrapped up in her dreams

In her dreams she is wrapped in reams

Wrapped in reams, on a chair by Eames

She is reading about Lalime’s

She dreams about Lalime’s

She is writing reams about her dreams

She is writing about Lalime’s

It seems

What’s undone is her seams

Her seams unravel, it seems

Her seams want to travel, it seems

Her seams seem to travel as seams

Her seams unravel and travel to gravel

It seems her seams are in teams

Teams of seams all at Lalime’s

It seems

While at Lalime’s,

She eats chocolate mousse with cream

She seems to beam

She beams and beams

She beams at teams of seams

She beams while at Lalime’s

It seems she is writing reams

It seems she’s wrapped up in dreams

She’s wrapped in dreams about Lalime’s

while holding the book she wrote on dreams

She evaporates as if in a dream

She evaporates and she dreams

She dreams she’s wrapped up in reams

Wrapped up in dreams


(Originally published in Scribbler, Issue 65)



Where Escargot Go à la carte in Go-Go Carts


I would like to sleep in a jeep

creeping toward the creperie

dreaming of the drapery



as the jeep rumbles

at a snail’s pace

as the snails pace

in front of the racetrack

where the escargot go à la carte in go-go carts

waltzing at snowflake dances up to cold chins

in pink terry cloth bathrobes

with sash and sachet lavender etchings

sewage for the druids

fluid flaccid on Lake Placid

pinball in and out

for trout from Blausee


about strobelight men

hauling 2x4s to


in backgammon colors

chocolate and vanilla

in their banilla vanilla villa


I would like to sleep

in a jeep with

all this going on

in my sarong

with sirens flashing

and wings fluttering

and then



I would





(Originally published in View From My Banilla Vanilla Villa by Eva Schlesinger, dancing girl press, 2010)











Eva Schlesinger is the author of the chapbooks, Ode 2 Codes & Codfish (slated for publication by dancing girl press in 2013), View From My Banilla Vanilla Villa (dancing girl press, 2010), and Remembering the Walker and Wheelchiar: poems of grief and healing (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Her poetry has received the Literal Latte Food Verse Award as well as been published in Cricket Magazine and California Quarterly. She lives in a banilla vanilla villa, where she reads voraciously, draws whimsical animals, plays magical flute melodies, and writes.


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