Narrow Bones

Paul Ilechko


My bones are narrow
my two arthritic hands
my shallow chest

fragility of tendon
and of ligament

I am shaped for bicycle
endurance over strength

for spring and autumn
over summer
(my pale skin burns)

I take the rivers
and the mountains
the sea but not the beach

I used to be a city man
but that was years ago

my speaking voice (these days)
is cracked and harsh
I spend much time in silence

but still I take my turn
upon a dais uttering
quiet words that wash
across the distance

dissolving space
in time and flow.


Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press, 2018) and “Graph of Life” (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Stickman Review, formercactus, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Heartwood Literary Magazine. He lives in Lambertville, NJ.