Weekly Poem: ‘Swimming Pool’
By James Arthur
A teapot, a pea coat, a butter boat.
Can you prepare for love? The stars
hole up in their blue night sleeve
and will be your dear companions
if you tell them what they are.
Afraid of dying,
he went for a swim: him to swim,
no one else, but never mind—
aqua-beetles made merry, and the pine stand
stood. Weed clouds wandered. Float …
he did. And the sprung floss of clouds
spun darker. The air shot wet. Unfelt touches
set the swimming pool a-tilt. Rain.
Lip to lip, it’s inert, but what a lot
a lot can do. The pool cried, Are they done,
your days of glass?
A sky, a frown, a sky-blue surface
with leaping tin. Let fall! Let spring!
He wasn’t struck by lightning—
James Arthur is the author of “Charms Against Lightning,” a debut poetry collection published by Copper Canyon Press in October. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry, a residency at the Amy Clampitt House and a Discovery/The Nation Prize.
Photo by Sean Hill.