A weekly poem, read by the author.
July 12 2011 6:23 AM


Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Sophie Cabot Black read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

As if almost too late we ripped into each other 

With whatever we had: mouth, feet, fingers,

Teeth. The resolute tools of two

Lowly carpenters who wandered

In and decided to change what they saw

As longing. The contract was full

Of how we were not to look up as we tore down

To the impossible. To begin again

Is to have no idea where this will go

As we climb around each other

Raising dust. Whole sections in our hands.

To dismantle is not about surrender; the way

In is the way out. As long as

We are here, to do something. Everything.


Sophie Cabot Black's books of poems are Misunderstanding of Natureand The Descent, which received the 2005 Connecticut Book Award. She teaches at Columbia University.

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March 31 2015 9:17 AM The Redline of March Overheard on email: Slates copy desk rounds up the month’s style and grammar rulings.