Poetry  September 2009 | issue 405

The Social Life Of Water

by Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland lives in Houston, Texas. His newest book of poetry, Application for Release from the Dream, was published by Graywolf Press in 2015.

All water is a part of other water.
Cloud talks to lake; mist
speaks quietly to creek.

Lake says something back to cloud,
and cloud listens.
No water is lonely water.
 
All water is a part of other water.
River rushes to reunite with ocean;
Tree drinks rain and sweats out dew;
Dew takes elevator into cloud;
Cloud marries puddle;
                                                puddle

has long conversation with lake about fiord;
Fog sneaks up and murmurs insinuations to swamp;
Swamp makes needs known to marshland;

Thunderstorm throws itself on estuary;
Waterspout laughs at joke of frog pond.
All water understands.

All water understands.
Reservoir gathers information
for database of watershed;
Brook translates lake to waterfall;
Tide wrinkles its green forehead and then breaks through.
All water understands.

But you, you stand on the shore
of blue Lake Kieve in the evening
and listen, grieving
as something stirs and turns within you.

Not knowing why you linger in the dark.
Not able even to guess
from what you are excluded.

 

 

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