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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, August 2, 2018.
About this Poem 

“Last winter, I took a one-day course at the Drawing Center with Torkwase Dyson and the Wynter-Wells Drawing School for Environmental Justice in which we closed our eyes and drew while we imagined finding our way to water. I found myself drawing a series of squares I had to pass through in order to navigate the way from my bed to a glass of water during the night. It helped me understand how even a small domestic action could be complicated by larger environmental issues, like access to clean water, and how all together we might respond to our ‘prospect’ of continued inhabitance.”
—Marcella Durand

from The Prospect

meaning that the moon will pass over the sun and blank it out.
in that moment the corona will appear to become brighter.
it “appears” because it does not actually become brighter; it “appears” to be so
in that moment grasses will whisper and the stars will turn red, blue, green
and maybe even speak—what will they say? SETI will pick up a message
from beyond newly discovered possibly planetary bodies.
there will be a low beeping and crunching sound that seems to emanate
from all over, but most likely from three blocks away where men are
directing a bulldozer to tear up the street and it sounds so omnipresent,
we were all talking about it this morning. it is small yet momentous,
how molecules jostle one another to carry the sound of their jostling
over often enormous distances.

                                                                    in that moment of eclipse
the phone rings, have you seen it, are you seeing it, I finally understand
what we’re doing, in this moment of glowing darkness I understand
what I put in the water I drink the water and if together
we are all getting hot we are making it hot and I must find
my way to the water from the bed through all the squares of darkness
and back again through treachery of light

Copyright © 2018 by Marcella Durand. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 2, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2018 by Marcella Durand. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 2, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Marcella Durand

Marcella Durand

Marcella Durand is the author most recently of Rays of the Shadow (Tent Editions, 2017).

by this poet


Your voice carries easily through liquid; bridge is
halved by fog, as your tongue is divided in mist.
The fog of machinery augmented by steam.
Powered and then not powered, below a line, dark.
Cold, the weather has turned and out there, turbines still.
Water has divided, soft things and