Stopped in cars, we are waiting to accelerate
along different trajectories. I catch the rising
pitch of a train—today one hundred nine people
died in a stampede converging at a bridge;
radioactive water trickles underground
toward the Pacific Ocean; nickel and copper
particulates contaminate the Brocade River.
Will this planet sustain ten billion people?
Ah, switch it: a spider plant leans toward
a glass door, and six offshoots dangle from it;
the more I fingered the clay slab into a bowl,
the more misshapen it became; though I have
botched this, bungled that, the errancies
reveal it would not be better if things happened
just as I wished; a puffer fish inflates on deck;
a burst of burnt rubber rises from pavement.
From Sight Lines. Copyright © 2019 by Arthur Sze. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.
Arthur Sze is the author of eleven books of poetry, including The Glass Constellation (Copper Canyon Press, 2021). He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017.
Date Published: 2019-04-04
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/doppler-effect