Today's poem is by Nick Narbutas

To Swallow These Catastrophes

The sea dies like an elephant.
First to its knees, then all in.
The sea dies and each of us
feels a twinge in the gut, an urchin rising
into us. The sky dies like a dog,
like a cartoon dog on its back, 4 clouds
jutting up into space. It's easier
to swallow these catastrophes than
the smaller vanishings. A man you met
last month, once, voice
thin as the root of a weed, still wearing
a suit and scowl, forfeited his position
last Saturday, a day you spent
in bed re-watching the TV show about
people rehashing their lives, already
forgetting you'd met this person.
One by one the Dads of the Earth
file into the black sea, black sky,
not my dad, but I'll still
pay attention, watch each
man first to his knees, then
all in. When it's my dad's turn,
forget it—no way
the world can last that long.

Copyright © 2016 Nick Narbutas All rights reserved
from Salt Hill
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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