Spring 2007: Issue 81

William Keens

Imagine the air were water

Through which we move, we swimmers,

With our upright striding.

Water that we fold about us

For primordial warmth in bath or shower.

Or curtain of rain

Parting the lawn’s astonished children,

A body memory—jumping to wet to dry—

The same recall and fluted bone

That lets us float and spin above the dreamed landscape,

Carefree and fishy in the pearly light.


Just so, the stouthearted

Gaze into heaven’s darkness hoping for

Gravity’s rescission. Then

Plummet headfirst into that awesome Abyss.

There’s virtue in such scale,

Being the speck not the squall that

People still talk about: how it

Whipped into a storm that loomed miles over us,

We stargazers, we rocketeers,

Stunned by what we were taking in


And taken in by—dust up the hose,

A moment’s thrilling ride, then some other

Nothing at all.