Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni


stunned inches isn't yet through with us, isn't this what you wanted? So,

turn your sorry back to urgent or at least what begs
doing because there's nothing left our bodies will tend. Now every city

that banks itself against what's rising dislocated, every ramshackled-
falling-down, & the highways & the bridges bottomland, grounded low.

Made of less water we might absorb deluge, extend our limbs
to soak up at the washout, wring sopping dry, but the only body

more water than us is water & So, all at sea & maybe worse
than helpless our sad wade through the wires or anxious

waiting on the wires: that kind of course that drifts, that channel toward lost.                                                           
Even all hands on deck won't change the facts, can't unknot, what holds us

won't contain what's coming in at the breach & won't anchor
to shore. For all its translucence

we can't figure water & So, the fields
stay unplanted under so much shimmer & wave & elsewhere heavy, that

quiet, when these streets last disappeared. In standing rain we gape
or aimless shove it toward grate & gutter, warn children already chaffing

summer's edge back from the creek-sprung moment & it must have
seemed just for them the way it always seemed for us tideless all

these years & then again as if out of nowhere & suddenly &
all at once our ankle-deep & that pull.




fuse blown, something about a door

& force & whatever else,
say, hinges. So, tell us

when the key turns the mechanism
we call lock—but really a switch

& more & more the bolt slips—
what's moving. Everything

looks like a body in this light
waning late. & later, even

what's closed-off or buried, even familiar
city of snow & snow-mapped now barely

echoes; everything that could
wake us from the quiet we've mistaken

just routine. Say trees shuffle
like rain & the crows return. Again

a silence sorted & stacked & enough,
though we slump against it.

Time was our bodies remembered.
Time was how to name what nouns,

what verbs. & gone we know, but going
casts every thing conditional & we

tumble back into forgotten,
in every window the room doubled

not quite endless & light
shining back. A future scraped from frost,

with our breath. Nothing solid
passed hand to hand. Only gone

bedded down. Only gone something
sure. But that crossing might someday

& familiar & again & mean time  
come morning pruned by winter,

come nothing but day & streets
made vantage, taken down to sky. 








"The knowledge not of sorrow," George Oppen wrote, "And saw rain...The road clear...the world, weather-swept..."