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Jacket 19 — October 2002   |   # 19  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |
This issue of Jacket is a collaboration with Verse magazine

Bruce Smith

Every Water: A Letter to My Daughter

He said: who among us hasn’t had the authorities

   The moment you changed from the blossom

bust in your door in the middle of the night? One knock

   of the desire into a person scarred

One door. Every exit an exile. Every entrance the garden

   with herself, I couldn’t see. Something

of incarceration, the document without the signature

   about the eye, something about the body and mind

One door. One knock. Every light is Paris or

   matter and art. So I stood as far away as I could

white phosphorous from the war. Every water

   possible from the painting and when the illusion

is Venice or a branch of the Styx

   was complete and I gradually came nearer

separating Slovenia from Croatia

   suddenly what had been a hand or a red

Russians from Germans from whatever empires

   ribbon dissolved into a weather of brushstrokes

This was how we were trained

   I thought I could catch the moment

how to be with the world and not jump out of our skin

   the change took place, but it was as illusive

dervish dances of identity and destiny

   as the moment between sleeping and waking

But of course you Americans don’t know this.

   This is how I looked for you.

Jacket 19 — October 2002  Contents page
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