by Elizabeth Shack in Issue Fifteen, May 2024

The swirling colors of space and time
float by the windows of the generation ship,
a whole city—planet—galaxy unto itself
soaring past aeons of stars


Space is vast, black, and featureless,
the ship a gray pinprick, pockmarked with cosmic dust,
scarred with once-a-decade repairs,
the black paint of its name scratched and faded

Time is an abstract ticking of lightyears,
a cycle of light and dark devoid of sun,
of so-called years marked by clocks and arbitrary holidays
to break up the gray monotony of nothingness


Orange swirls of joy surround a child chasing a ball down a corridor
Classmates hold hands within yellow circles of friendship
Love’s dotted red lines create an intricate, ever-changing lace
while some wrap themselves in the green tatters of jealousy

All eventually embrace the whiteness of death,
for nothing lasts forever, not even this journey,
though none will see its end, or the painting
of which they are an integral brushstroke

© 2024 Elizabeth Shack

Elizabeth Shack

Elizabeth Shack lives in central Illinois with her spouse, cat, and an expanding collection of art supplies and gardening tools. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Writers Resist, Daily Science Fiction, The MacGuffin, Drifting Sands, and other venues.

Poetry by Elizabeth Shack
  • Brushstrokes