suppose life is a billowing curtain:
It stands cowardly: collecting dust.
every once in awhile, i replace the curtains
It bores me.
(i want a multicolored one).
i switch. i am unhappy.
the curtain stands the same
just different colors.
i’ve outgrown it.
Lifeguard by Joshua Rivkin
My father is modest. He didn’t save hundreds
from drowning. Just a few dozen.
Gathered from the swell, the riptide, rough,
rough waves he carried them ashore.
Half-lit, he tells it again. The storm
against sky, the lifeguard without fear
alone in the water, the crowd
gathered to witness.
Here’s what to notice:
the danger of weather, failures
of the other people to help, we never know
what happened to the boy.
This is my humble brag, my bravado,
my foolish affection
to write the same poem year after year.
In some versions I am the lifeguard.
In others I’m drowning.
Then I’m sky. Then wave.
when you are the only
passenger if there is a
place further from me
I beg you do not go
All your poems are in a sense one poem.
Poetry for me begins in secrecy, as far from the public eye as possible.