Alex Blum

is a fundraiser living in Berkeley, CA. Hobart and Necessary Fiction have published his writing. He studied English at Yale University, where his short story “You Two Stay with the Bear” was awarded second place in the Wallace Prize for Fiction. You can find him on Twitter at @a_ blum.


The Staircase

You somersault over the carpet
    warm as milk
            and fall down the stairs
    in slow motion
crash onto the landing where
    the cat once slept
            skittish and dark
    she died before
            she warmed to you
    and
peer through the banister bars
    your father built
            the lathe sprinkling birch
                   upon your fine spaghetti head
            and
collapse on the steps
    your mother fed you
            breakup takeout there
            a salty warning
                   keep your shoes on
    and
commemorate in your private heart
    the good grass twang of sneakers
            the proper knock of oxfords
the g-force of the holidays
    a carousel you’ll be flung off of
            no matter how tight
    you grip
            the horse’s pretty neck
come meet your black-cloaked
    elders sleeping wide-eyed
            through eternity
no photos of the current guard
    but echoes
            get your ass down here right now
                   I mean it.