Published on Academy of American Poets (

A Study in Eventuality

Funny, isn’t it, how hard to describe
a good man? In the shower, I let
the water run hot as my blood filtering
a mirror of loss. The messenger arrived
flustered as feathers falling to the place
where feathers go to find each other. Who
is the man who makes you remark, “I have
been lucky”? How does the faucet instruct
forgiveness? Our voices spiral to meet
with too much space between. My cuticles
shine like chrome under the moment’s remains.
A demand for nakedness pools somewhere
down the drain. For what we’ve been able to
let go, and know it happens to us all. 



Copyright © 2020 by Cristina Correa. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 6, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“In this poem, I revisit two distinct but related instances of learning about a traumatic event while in the shower. It seemed strange that I should be in this daily cleansing routine—vulnerable yet relaxed, surrounded by water and white noise—while receiving the news, first, of my father's terminal illness and then, seven months later, his death. The poem invites a gentle, circular confrontation between living and dying, and a brief glimmer of gratitude in which loss can become acceptance and, likewise, grief can become love.”
Cristina Correa


Cristina Correa

Cristina Correa teaches creative writing at Cornell University. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

Date Published: 2020-02-06

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