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Paul Ilechko


Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks Bartok in Winter (Flutter Press) and Graph of Life (Finishing Line Press: site: His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Stickman Review, Mocking Heart Review, Into the Void Magazine, and Dime Show Review. He lives in Lambertville, NJ.

The Girls in the Attic

The girl in the attic / white faced and solemn
pale powdery cocaine / bloodless with
whiteness consumed / in obsessive solitude
by Caravaggio / lost in his chiaroscuro

Caravaggio swarthy / and bold spattered
blood on his canvases / blood-spattered redness
when he was no longer able / in his discontent
in his self-destruction / to pay for paint

Caravaggio spending / his money on drugs
and murder loving / no woman ever loving
his horse much more / loving his creation far more
than any woman / the shadowed boy his muse

The girl in the attic / lost in consumption
immune to her own / pale fragile
bohemianism was never / Sylvia Plath although
it could be seen / a commonality

The girl in the attic / this dark girl
glowing silver at sunset / was not Anne Frank
although if she had been / so soft in her fear
she would not likely / have given you that name

The girls in their many attics / all obsessed with
the reflection of violence / living a pale imitation of life
only found on occasion / in the attics and towers
this consuming literature / of violent men.
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