Having ousted all rivals, I take possession

of suburban hostas and road-running squirrels,

and strike rare birds from recorded histories


of ponds. It is time to decommission causeways

now that the marshes have flaked. I design

the cities higher and higher on softening


foundations. I stack the insecurities of wealth,

and endorse both its guardians and armed

intruders. Whenever I like, I lift the streets


to patch the gas lines. I manage a land of millet

ground under a thumb into flour deflowered

by wind, and reroute buckets of effluvia


to a shrinking lake. I pilot the riverboats

that navigate waters between snipered cliffs,

and transport every iteration of spoiled fruit.


I standardize dejection marooned on a rugged

portage, and refit the ships that lost the Pacific

to microscopic plastic. I host a ceremonial dance


of cleats and hatchets that blends ecstatic worship

with the infant mortality rate. I beset the ancient

temples with mudslides. I put minor holidays


up for auction, and unclasp obligations so they fall

like fistfuls of worry beads. I am default, the very

last god who speaks the vernacular language.


Alan Elyshevitz

Alan Elyshevitz is the author of a collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund (SFA Press), a full-length poetry collection, Generous Peril (Cyberwit), and four poetry chapbooks, most recently “Mortal Hours” (SurVision). Winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review, he is a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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