Eric Odynocki

Chaja-Lea Returns
May 16, 2024 Odynocki Eric


Volodymyrets, Ukraine 1945


This is where we were.
For centuries. Imagine


the deafening fall of each footstep
at the town’s edge blurred


after you hold your breath
through a winter that lasts


five years. If you sigh
they’ll find you.


Doors like tombstones
line the street, conceal


the whereabouts of former
neighbors. Nothing different


but not recognizable either
in this silence. Like the old baker


whose eyes drift
to a new clearing in the woods.

Eric Odynocki is a teacher and writer from New York. His work is often inspired by his experience as a first-generation American with Mexican, Ukrainian, and Ashkenazi roots. Eric’s fiction has been nominated for Best Small Fictions and has appeared in Gordon Square Review and Pacific Review. Eric’s poetry has recently been published in Brooklyn Review, Cold Mountain Review, American Poetry Journal, PANK, Magma Poetry, and elsewhere.