Today's poem is by Kate Northrop


More difficult by night, you must
          make yourself up in tank & mask
and from the stern, ease

          into the water, into a place that does not
readily appear, does not
assume you: suited-up and numbed by gloves, strapped

          to a machine. And what did you think?
That as it is
in the shallows of sunlight,

          you might pick a point—the teeming reef, flickering
of an Angel fish—and focused there,
          arrive before your body? No,

this is the world which for once

          does not believe in you.
This is the anchor line, and though you can barely see,
          pin your eyes to the braided rope. The algaed frays,

thicker now beneath your hand, twist
          and loom. Here is the lamp,

the beams of which disperse into surge & emptiness,
into indifference of the gravest depth, and yet

descending, is this not
          what you always wanted, to be

as pure mind, reading closely, a verb

without responsibility to object? Are you not—stripped
          of all accompaniment and falling

toward the world you've dreamed of—
                                          almost a perfect

cleanliness, almost the soul, if not for your hand—now yours,
          now alien—sliding over the rope?

Copyright © 2007 Kate Northrop All rights reserved
from Things Are Disappearing Here
Persea Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved