It would like to take the equivalent
of a cruise and tour of Italy, lie under
a bikini colored sun for weeks, months,
letting the world catch its thankful
breath—but history can’t relax, no
chance of easing up on the bombing
of town centers and peach orchards,
no chance of treading more gently on
the innocent, not with the guilty whipping
it all night long, keeping it up and about,
telling it it’s the reason for everything,
absolutely everything they’ve ever done.
I don’t know what I’d do there—
signs of advanced civilizations
have come up nil, then again
signs of advancement here on earth
has taken a hit. Perhaps we expect
too much, the thrill and payoff
in the adventure alone, no matter
what kind of matter we find or don’t.
I remember watching the early space
flights in Florida amidst the palm trees
and the alligators, cheering the pioneer
astronauts on, straight up and straight
down, the capsule landing in the ocean,
softly as if it were made of eggshells,
schools of fish stopping, then moving on.
Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest Josephine Baker Swimming Pool from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, On the Seawall and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusets with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong. He recommends supporting the Franciscan friars.