Probable Poem for the Furious Infant

Probably you’ll solve gravity, flesh 
out our microbiomics, split our God 
particles into their constituent bits 
of christs and antichrists probably, 
probably you’ll find life as we know it 
knitted into nooks of the chattering 
cosmos, quaint and bountiful as kismet 
and gunfights in the movies probably, 
probably, probably you have no patience
for the movies there in your eventual 
arrondissement where you have more
credible holography, more inspiring
actual events, your ghazals composed 
of crow racket, retrorockets, glaciers 
breaking, your discotheques wailing
probably, probably, probably, probably 
too late a sentient taxi airlifts you 
home over a refurbished riverbank, 
above the rebuilt cathedral, your head 
dozing easy in the crook of your arm,
emptied of any memory of these weeks 
we haven’t slept you’ve been erupting 
into that hereafter like a hydrant on fire, 
like your mother is an air raid, and I am 
an air raid, and you’re a born siren 
chasing us out of your airspace probably
we’ve caught 46 daybreaks in 39 days, 
little emissary arrived to instruct us,
we wake now you shriek us awake,
we sleep now you leave us to sleep.


Copyright © 2019 by Jaswinder Bolina. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 10, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“In the early weeks of his life, our beloved newborn would only sleep soundly for 20-40 minutes at a time unless one of us was holding him. I must’ve walked three miles a night around our small apartment with him in my arms so my wife could catch a little sleep. When I got too exhausted, she’d sit up in bed holding him so I could catch some sleep of my own. The poem—or at least the idea for it—was born in the bleary daze of those long nights when I’d imagine his life forgotten of all of this, so many years in the speculative future, how in that future he might be resting so easily in his (hopefully) fulfilling life while we might be asleep more permanently somewhere else. There’s a lot of hope in it because there’s so much hopefulness in parenthood, but there’s also that ever-present sense of exhaustion and its hint of sadness too.”
Jaswinder Bolina