A biblical task has been fulfilled by bad and fruitful
unions, but misremembered names, begotten
in hospital or prison, violate some monetary law,
so we perforate boxes to help them breathe.
Through binoculars we view the next shipment
of shrewd potatoes dumped, ears of corn tumbling
in chaotic silhouette, cheese and pharmaceuticals.
Just short of the border, cars grilled and gasless are sorted
by legal precedence. Forest and desert are impugned
by craft that wobble on slickening rivers. To assimilate
chairs into the tundra, we paint them white so deftly.
Men who work in transport or the building trades
sleep in fishnet hammocks stinking of a few old shrimp.
During the day, things go up or things go forward.
Once complete they absorb electricity, releasing heat
at night so that the sky forgets what room it’s in.
When leaves of maples clench and free-tailed bats
wave farewell, monks revise their bad dreams upward.
Too much debris smothers renewal. Amino acids break
their ancient pact. To inform the public, we publish a website
that sums the capacity of our homestead made of stone.
About the Author
Alan Elyshevitz is a poet and short story writer from East Norriton, PA. His collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund, was published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. In addition, Elyshevitz has published three poetry chapbooks, most recently, Imaginary Planet (Cervena Barva). He is a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Currently he teaches writing at the Community College of Philadelphia.