Flood Potential


That’s far enough, I yell across the dry
riverbed where twigs shoot up between rocks
with leaves like mistaken tenses: was, were,
watch. That’s far enough—wrenching
the children from their ground into my disaster.
“I could defeat you,” one says.
The other, “no you couldn’t.”
Me: “Water could defeat us all.”

No one is listening to motherwater.

Rocks, the spaces between them, have no culture
until you have to leave: we were, I was, we wrenched
the children from was to were to whatever to who else
is in their imagined war? “Why are you trying
to defeat each other?” Watch us. Look.

Jennifer Kronovet edits Circumference Books and is the author of two poetry collections: The Wug Test, and Awayward. Using the name Jennifer Stern, she co-translated Empty Chairs, the poetry of Chinese writer Liu Xia, and also co-translated The Acrobat, selected poems of Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin. A New Yorker, she has also lived in Guangzhou and Beijing in China, Berlin, Germany, and Willemstad, Curaçao.

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