“The Overcoat,” by Shai Afsai

Apr 20th, 2021 | By | Category: Poetry

I once accompanied a woman
I loved and lived with
to her college sorority reunion.
It was a cold evening.
I wore my favorite coat
to the event
and hung it on the coat rack.

We were among the last to leave
the social hall that night
and when we finally made our way outside
I discovered my coat was gone.
One of the other men taken there
by his girlfriend or fiancé or wife,
and perhaps lacking the foresight
to bring along a coat of his own,
had simply stolen mine.

Since then
whenever I read Gogol’s The Overcoat
I’m reminded that—
nineteenth-century St. Petersburg
or twenty-first-century New England—
people are shit.


Shai Afsai lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Enough said. More information, if inexplicably sought, may be found at shaiafsai.com .

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