Alex Wells Shapiro

I hate that the thump

of my heartbeat

my building cause neighbors

knock on nights I do too much

blow. But it’s not like I could

take the place down! It’d

burst first. And I’m pretty

sure the moving walls keep

our rent down and spook

the roaches and robbers.

It’s never been still any-

way; it’s not just me.

Section off the spiders

in corners where webs

thicken enough to catch

& suffocate rats or see

in the shadows to integrate

them into your apartment

. Nail a couple

2x4s at an L tall ways so

they can climb out &

keep building up & can’t

see you kick the young

dumb rats trying to scurry

thru closing doors from

your frames (tho they’ll

certainly hear the yelps).

Biographical Statement:

Alex Wells Shapiro (he/him) is a poet, artist, and organizer from the Hudson Valley, living in Chicago. He reads submissions for Frontier Poetry, serves as Business and Grants Manager for Another Chicago Magazine, and co-curates Exhibit B: A Reading Series presented by The Guild Literary Complex. He is the author of a full length collection of poems, Insect Architecture (Unbound Edition 2022), and a chapbook, Gridiron Fables (Bottlecap Features 2022). More of his work can be found at