by Alan Elyshevitz Issue: Fall 2018 Special Issue on Justice
Satellites show us the holes, bowl shaped, susceptible to lakes,
others so deep, so narrow and prolonged they’ve adapted to reverie
and thus waste time. Mountains are sloppy in their uplifts and folds.

We deposit hamlets into the tightest valleys and mediate slopes
with terraces of blasted roads. We plaid the rough ground level.
So Floridians won’t turn deciduous, we purchase sand from the Saudis.

We give the landscape a smoother proclivity for ladders.
Unhindered are the resurfaced prairies of turbines with their long blades
of manslaughter. The perfect harbor is an oyster shell multiplied by bulldozers.

We pour foundations for windowless quarters, expecting penance
from felons and the desperate poor. With fungible metals we induce
towers skyward, cracking the wind shear of migrating birds.

Amid cemented trees and plots of inferior grass, comely housing
awaits the urge to procreate. Construction is its own reward.
As if a sculpture garden is a garden, a nursing home, a home.

Alan Elyshevitz

Alan Elyshevitz is the author of a collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund (SFA Press), and three poetry chapbooks, most recently Imaginary Planet (Cervena Barva). Recently, his poems have appeared in River Styx, Nimrod International Journal, and Water ̴ Stone Review. He is a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For further information, visit