Developers are building a new city right inside the one that’s there. The new city is not for us. To make room, they’re foreclosing on the homes again, reselling at quintupled prices. New street names slick and space-age sounding. The new city has no water; instead, siphons it from poorer towns. The new city has a park behind a fence, puts up barracks housing guards. Checkpoints so old residents don’t come back. Park benches are impossible to sleep on. All benches in the city are impossible to use, stay vacant at the bus stops. The new city’s only reachable by car, by driving down a corporate lane, by adding cash to your account. In the new city, it’s illegal not to be a citizen of the new city. Few qualify as citizens. It’s easy to earn penalties just passing through the city, for not looking like a citizen. The new mall takes biometrics from its shoppers, flags whoever lacks sufficient funds. The new condominiums downtown employ the scanning, too. Upcycle brick from demoed houses, from torn down public units. From the terrace, spot the islands of new city in construction down below. Spot the ruined blocks surrounding; behind wire, barricaded, our city nearly buried in the shadows.
CD Eskilson is a trans poet and editor from Los Angeles. Their work appears in Hobart, Pleiades, minnesota review, and they are a 2022 Best of the Net finalist. CD is assistant poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine. They are an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.