NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2015 Volume 15.2 - Page 100

  By ELIZABETH COHEN   Water 1. Long ago when all the continents were still married it was simpler   Water did not need to have opinions
run in circles get knotted with nets It had no need for conferences about its saline content
  It had not yet been papered 
with shipping routes; nobody’s North Sea platform had exploded in flames   There was no red tide nor sea creatures
throwing themselves upon the land   
Every day was a little one step two step, ocean and moon
and the ocean waved at the moon and the moon smiled       2. Now, water has been split into tribes Each one has its own religion Belief in salt, belief in mangroves. Belief in ice. Each one waits for its specific destruction and a great plastic continent 
grows larger every day

Water doesn’t care   It no longer young, it has grown a chemical beard and walks with a cane, hobbles out from the church of  cloud and hollow troughs to look at the beaches, then rushes back to nap with the cerulean sky
   98 3. The ocean is a Jew tonight wearing its prayer shawl and curling locks   And I am here on the shore, dovening