D. Nurkse on

Published in Poem Of The Day

The child tells me, put a brick in the tank,
don't wear leather, don't eat brisket,
snapper, or farmed salmon-not tells,
orders-doesn't she know the sluice gates
are wide open and a trillion gallons
wasted just for the dare of it?

Until the staring eye shares that thrill,
witnessing: I am just iris and cornea,
blind spot where brain meets mind,
the place where the image forms itself
from a spark-image of the coming storm.

Still the child waits outside the bathroom
with the watch she got for Best Essay,
muttering, two minutes too long.

Half measures, I say. She says, action.
I: I'm one man. She: Seven billion.

If you choose, the sea goes back.

About this poem
"Hopeless poems about the unimaginable future can seem voyeuristic. Hopeful ones can feel fake. 'Showers' is trying to find a balance, but not the middle ground of compromise. The child is real."
-D. Nurkse

About D. Nurkse
D. Nurkse is the author of "A Night in Brooklyn" (Knopf, 2012). He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.

(c) 2015 D. Nurkse. Originally published by the Academy of American Poets, www.poets.org. Distributed by King Features Syndicate





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