Other Places

by Erik Elshire

Across the mountains, where I spent my adolescence,

Juniper Tree berries gift sharp sweetness to the air

every rainfall.

Potential stuck to the dry and resilient stature

unfurled by a rare and well traveled rebirth:

wind and heat and moisture without chains.

Cupped hands await the fruit in silence.
Other places
where chemicals bubble in airplanes without wings,
fresh coal dust glitters garage doors,
sound soaks air:
trains like petrified dinosaurs clunk,
gluttonous cargo ships spew echoing booms,
while car engines paint a membrane of noise to fill the cracks.
The cars
filled with workers to brew unnatural, assemble
new wallpaper to cover stone reality.
The cars
truck chemicals in bottles that fill the shelves of sterile stores,
well manicured of course.
The cars
in troves follow the smoke, spires, and plumes
of what the world consumes. And the cars
spew their own gusts too,
up,
up,
air reluctant to keep, moves excess
out of hands reach to return in new form.

All the patient hands
purchase their silence, or strengthen their thirst.

Hands at the wheel,
fingers gripping the crane’s levers,
and the tugboat captain guides the wealth of the world.
Medium of the machine, hands well worn,
callused and depraved, lurching in hope to gain
but an hour away from the excess into excess.

Enjoy the time you have away from work!

Go see a movie! buy yourself something nice!

You deserve it!

Find a sandy beach somewhere!

Sit and watch the game with nothing!

Nothing on your mind else.

Rest your weary hands,
or gain a thirst.