Poetry: Selections from Phil Eggers

What Else?

Help is your favorite tune your partner sings in the shower,
Their voice drifting through the cracks between the doorframe
In echoey reverb, a soothing balm,
A key for escaping
An anxious mind in a prison of its own making.

Help is the first warm drop of rain in June;
It is the cooing of mating mourning doves nesting under your A/C window unit;
The bodega clerk that’s always there to share a knowing side eye at whatever crazy chaos is engulfing the block.

Help is a sympathetic sigh.
But even better
An empathetic grunt:
Solidarity in the salt mines, my friend.

Help is the awkward first hug
You share with a friend you don’t yet realize you’ve made for life.

It is the table cloth,
The slice of bread,
The cup of wine.

Help abounds.
Help surrounds.
Help is on the way.

What else?

Help is a place you can touch,
A hand you can hold,
If only you would unfurl that fist for fighting
Into a palm of open reception.

What else?

Help is here.

I Ask my Roommates Cat to Shut Up

Shut up, cat.
Shut up.
Shut up.
Shut up.


I prayed with youthful hope,
Now seasoned with age,
Salt and pepper serving at the temple,
That each new sunrise

Would clear the board of my concerns
And place the pieces of my problems
Back in the bag and back in the box,
Ready for a reset and novel strategy.

But truth be told

I’ve only spun back to where I was already,
Stuck plucking abnormal eyebrow hairs
Like some balding caterpillar
And re-steeping yesterday afternoon’s green tea

Milking out the final morsels of bracing astringency.

But tell me

Is there that much more happiness
That cannot already be found
In a Sixth Avenue corndog
Under a jaundiced November sky?

                                                      (Thirty-fifth winter and counting.)

Let the world turn on then,
And I will count myself lucky
To have stood so still for so long.

Phil Eggers is a poet and painter living in Brooklyn, NY. A 2020 finalist for Brooklyn Poets' Yawp Poem of the Year, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Thimble Lit Mag, Vita Brevis, Red Wheelbarrow, and Cobra Milk Lit Mag.


  1. This is great. Love your poems! Please keep publishing. Full of hope and comfort with some wit for fun.


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