A young boy underwater
Trent Parke / Magnum

A Very Small Animal Entirely Surrounded by Water

A poem for Sunday

“It’s a little anxious to be a very small animal entirely surrounded by water”

the world was already [young | sick | lost] when we came to it
we were busy looking [for | at | through] god
went to the dance and brought our new [shoes | father | flask]
borrowed a [shirt | religion | mask] & sat in the bleachers
[music | oil | trash] filled our rivers
stayed up for the after [party | life | math]
the forests were [protected | sold | ash]
wrote [letters | checks | ads] against corruption
blamed [science | systems | depression] for our cities
when the [oceans | fires | droughts] came
when the [rains | bomb | flu] came
when the [weather | weather | weather] came
we [weathered | welcomed | watered] it
we were [prepared | shocked | responsible]
please for one line look nowhere else
who made our [life | language | living] here
whoever eats [rivers | ash | lambs] will return
each time we turn our mouths to [sob | scream | song]
children are blameless as they become [gone | ghosts | gods]