Function of Water

By NATHANIEL PERRY
On rainy days the place seems smaller,
acres still ringed and shrouded by trees,
but the sky is closer, like something landing.
I know you’d like to ask me—please

can we go inside, it’s cold, I’m cold,
the baby’s cold—but you know I won’t
let you go inside yet. The boy is shrieking
as if the colors behind and in front
of his new eyes are all too much
to take in at once, too much joy
at once, I mean. But I called you out
here for this early rain. The boy
can see what he needs to. I need you here,
beside me, to see this place filled
by something that is not us, our every
acre ringed and shrouded and still.

 

Nathaniel Perry is the author of Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011), and his recent work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Upstreet, Orion, and elsewhere. He is the editor of the Hampden Sydney Poetry and lives in rural southside Virginia.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 02 here.]

Function of Water

Related Posts

july 2020 poetry feature

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Steven Leyva and Elizabeth Scanlon

STEVEN LEYVA
Get down to the smallest birthright / I cannot claim: say beignets / and doesn’t the stutter of hot oil start / to sizzle the small plates of memory? / Faces powdered with sugar, no thought / to whose ancestors cut which cane, sing / a hymn of “mmm, mmm, mmm.”

Illustration of dolphin

July 2020 Poetry Feature: Loren Goodman

LOREN GOODMAN
In these last hours / Of the Passover Seder / It is said by the higher / Chasidic Scholars that time / Loses its essence and that / We are at least once, with / The help of memory (at this / Time “even the future can be / Remembered”) able to defeat / It. Something to do / With the wine.

Skyline cropped

Goddamn

MORIEL ROTHMAN-ZECHER
The chunk of the ball / On the cracked blacktop / And our torsos so covered / In sweat nearby the sea / Swells and the smell seeps / Into our hair and the air / Turns into night all around us / And the pebbles of the ball / Still tickle our palms as smoke / Trickles into our lungs...