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 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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