BQE Park


Walking over the freeway free,
As they say, as the day 
And the night sinks like a freezer 
That floated, half-submerged 
A bit 
In the river that isn’t a river at all 
Having no source, no mouth
Yet’s still full of eels  As the arctic melts 
And would, should the moon 
present its fullness
Rise and flood and soak the grass-
Grown cemeteries down 
To the warping and worm-channeled boards
And that’s when you see it,
The cemetery garden, from 
The bridge that spans the freeway when 
These sections — both depressed 
And rising — are 
Scrubbed clean of their cars
And planted
First with: Bollards! 
Then with:  Trees! 
A bench here and there are all we’d need
And it’d be a park  
Can’t you just see it? 
Stairways leading down 
Through the tall embankment grass 
And growth to the depressed alignments 
Shady now, and quiet
While others rise up from the surface streets
To elevated spans 
Soaring masses overhead drip flower-
Dotted vines, the hanging gardens 
Of Brooklyn, Queens…  
And cut across adjacent streets 
To join, absorb their lots like 
That cemetery there 
By neglected Steuben Park 
Oh, you should paint it 
Says someone well-intentioned, but 
That medium isn’t appropriate! 
It must be sculpted, life-size,
Out of freeways, highways, parkways, 
turnpikes, interstates and boulevards as well
Just punch some holes in the road 
The plants will grow 
Bushes, trees, and fountains 
And benches are all we’d need 
And, if it’s not your cup of tea
If you’d prefer the car-clogged 
Cancer machine
To this beautiful thing
That’s just waiting to happen
You must ask yourself this question:
Why am I so disgusting?
Why must I champion such deadly,

Ugly banality
The funniest part, however,
Is this: it’ll happen

 One way or the other — either

We will construct it 

Or it’ll bloom, on its own, across the ruins 

Burying us all

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous articleEditorial: Our New Publication Schedule & Podcast. Plus: Trump Has To Go
Next articleJoAnn Wypijewski: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About #MeToo
Avatar photo
Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at and on twitter @elliot_sperber.