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You say wind is only wind
and carries nothing nervous
in its teeth. I do not believe it.
I have seen leaves desist from moving
although the branches move,
and I believe a cyclone has secrets
the weather is ignorant of. I believe
in the violence of not knowing.
I’ve seen a river lose its course
and join itself again, watched it court
a stream and coax the stream
into its current, and I have seen rivers,
not unlike you, that failed to find
their way back. I believe the rapport
between water and sand, the advent
from mirror to face. I believe in rain
to cover what mourns, in hail that revives
and sleet that erodes, believe
whatever falls is a figure of rain,
and now I believe in torrents that take
everything down with them.
The sky calls it quits, or so I believe,
when air, or earth, or air has had
enough. I believe in disquiet,
the pressure it plies, believe a cloud
to govern the limits of night. I say I,
but little is left to say it, much less
mean it—and yet I do. Let there be
no mistake. I do not believe
things are reborn in fire.
I believe they’re consumed by fire,
and the fire has a life of its own.
Andrew Zawacki is the author of Videotape, Petals of Zero Petals of One, Anabranch, and By Reason of Breakings. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the New Republic, The Nation, and elsewhere, and is an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Georgia, where he directs the doctoral Creative Writing Program.
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