--for my father; Miami
Body (its inconsistent talents)
barred some solutes from its membranes
and many blood cells lost their balance
(the curious equa-tension
that holds things in their places —
Frost’s heaven-pointing stanchion
that calms, for the moment, wobble
and wave.) Pencil to his lip and ledger
(as if bent across a family Bible)
he calculated cubit
to cubit, width and length,
the distance when the end of the month
would rise from its currents like Ararat.
Miami's sudden evening rains,
(the strangely named aguacero,
its self-negating “zero water,”)
turned our city to a garden.
Later, he said, Pharaoh,
would open his doors to the vast dismal space
of a borderless desert (a temporary pardon.)
On their heels a great sea was frothing.
Wetting his fingers, a page or
two back, a picture: they who’d begat
but were never begotten. They looked stupid
standing there. (Some small mistake had grown bigger.)
This, pointing to each figure,
is a decimal place.
And here (tiny as a seed, strong as a gate)
its decimal point—on one side nothing, on the other nothing.
STEVE KRONEN's recent and forthcoming work is in AGNI, The Antioch Review, Poetry Daily, Plume, Little Star, and The New Statesman (UK). His collections are Splendor (BOA), and Empirical Evidence (University of Georgia). He recently completed two new manuscripts, Gimme That - Don't Smite, and a book of translations/versions, Cain on the Moon. He is a librarian in Miami. His website is www.stevekronen.com.