If every poet on earth stopped writing
right now, forever, what would be lost?
Bubbles fall through the water, each
containing a choice. This is a test
of your artistic commitment. Once
they were a long cold drink. Now
fountains are ornamental. Who needs
this monument? Perhaps lovers,
concealing themselves behind white noise
in fragrant jardins d’amour. Travelers
rushing through the city or airport,
each face creased into a polite scream—
watching can unwrinkle them. But already
we have more cherubs, urinals,
colored lights than anyone can look at
in a hyperextended well-educated
American lifetime. I say it’s the making,
not the architectural sketch but the feel
of a pencil in the hand, that saves us.
A tool that is not a weapon. The relief
of holding water in your mouth
for an effervescent moment before
releasing some brief, brilliant cascade.