Published on Academy of American Poets (


I’m careful where I step. Water ripples
greenish blue against hot sand; pebbles mixed
with quartz grains and pine needles, sharp
amid the duff, blown down from the
upper stories of the sugar pines
clumped along the beach. Kids falling off
paddle boards into the cold lake, voices 
like stretched brake linings in the dry air.
A geometric rim of mountains in the
near distance. A few geese
float detached on the current. Beside
us a family under a mesh canopy
speaks English and Russian. 
I love the present with its layers
of seconds faceted like sparks
hammered off the glinting surface. 
I want to stay here endlessly,
standing at the convergence of sand and water
while we watch them sequestered
under the clutter of branches, breathing
suntan lotion. I dread the future, yet it arrives
little by little. Knowingly we disappear into it. 
Our bodies dissolve molecule by molecule
swept out to the edge of the intangible,
where light is compressed  into blackness.
Where red ants crawl in their columns across
rotting earth, leaving no more
than a trail of resin behind.


Copyright © 2015 by Alan Soldofsky . Used with permission of the author.

About this Poem

“I am attracted to one-word titles that contain a density of homonyms. I began writing ‘Current’ in my notebook on a pine-shaded beach at Lake Tahoe, while rereading the opening pages of Donald Revell’s The Art of Attention: A Poet’s Eye. I wrote a quick first draft, looking out at the water, practicing using my eyes to stay in the present, and later rewrote the poem wanting to embody the ‘velocity’ of my attention, and to elongate that moment, which had long since passed.”
Alan Soldofsky


Alan Soldofsky

Alan Soldofsky is the author of In the Buddha Factory (Truman State University Press, 2013). He teaches at San Jose State University where he directs the MFA program in Creative Writing. He lives in San Jose.

Date Published: 2015-03-10

Source URL: