Today's poem is by Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni

Against arranged line & proportion, in defiance of

scale, favoring curve & bend, we'd give
back the river to the river, such small

remembrances we collect, jar, a drop
for each place rivered through

or alongside, hand over shore
& bank, return to it room

to stretch, stop crowding it into
height, let it find its own

bed to shape & course
to fill. Though hollows

& ridges tuck in, don't
call it empty because people

live here. Because there. So maybe
mouth. Maybe aperture. If the light is

just so, So, we can bring time into focus
there, that spacious somewhere of silt

& rushing, those miles rivering
into Gulf tide. Where softens. Where

edges. Where a lowering sky. When slant
& inclination redraw the map a more

supple elsewhere, elsewhere fades
darkening or blurred at the boundaries

& we could never take in every where when
lit just so. & So, maybe always is a bed

that can become a kind of pivot.
Because where is its own surrender, we turn

over each river-damp stretch of land
that remembers left & leaving

towns along levee & margin. Bowls that fill
& fill. Their slanting streets. Their always

sinking. Because shale & cypress shelf below.
Because the news reels, figures waist-deep

in the river-dark space of history, all of it near
lost & everything up to the fields

weighted down, their unplanted year, nothing
coming up but us: for air,

for whatever's emptying out, & to learn
by heart every passed-through

& in the wake. Where the weak horizon below.
Where such devastated cities. Where on the atlas,

put down. Where the river will take back
or strand—the peculiar comfort of impermanence,

that turbulent lasting. Where a future
given over & carried on.

Copyright © 2015 Monica Berlin & Beth Marzoni All rights reserved
from No Shape Bends the River So Long
Parlor Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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