Totally Under the Water

He knew, he said, he was dying
when for two straight weeks he dreamed of 
trying to switch on a swing-arm 
lamp that wouldn’t switch on. In baths 
I’ve never gone—as they do in the movies,
to demonstrate crux and contemplation— 
totally under the water, but if 
I did, I would ponder the woman
flooring it into the cinderblock 
wall from fifty feet away. I don’t think that image 
comes from the movies. I think it comes
from the future. The future, with its color
palette of airport whites and its 
unrushed glance, its involuted 
beckoning. I see it. I can see it. At least
somebody wants me.

This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since you’re here, you probably believe, like us, that work like this should be accessible to anyone who wants to read it. That’s why the entire archive of The Believer is available online for free.

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Daniel Gumbiner

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