The Problem of Water ||| from Sixth Finch

The problem of water is that it’s odorless
Water is not sensed until it is too late
You think you are alright and then water
It has been said water moves faster than horses
but it has not been said what kind of horses
Well water used to be the most popular and inane of
waters. Now water is domesticated and still popular
Water is not in a lot of desserts
I don’t know how much water matters to babies
Room temperature is like a golden retriever to water
A room without water is not like a soul without water
It is perfectly alright
A running water is safer than a still one
The second problem of water
is that it is tempting for people
to give birth in it. The second problem of water is that
to speak of water one must also speak
of cohesion. Water does not travel alone
It is difficult to speak about this
Surely there can be no birth without water
Water can pile up on a penny
What people forget is that water is very heavy
Water animals have no tastebuds
It’s because water is odorless and colorless
They have no lungs
In water there is no weight. Water colors
are a human error. Water is often offered
after there has been a human problem
The second problem of water is that its origins
are cloudy. It is a chicken
and it is an egg. It is like a child
casting director. Water is made
out of three pieces like a nice suit
and like a nice trinity or tripod
The pieces are joined by bonds
Water fears nothing but oil
When you come to the water
you should fear nothing.

 

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Photo on 6-9-13 at 3.16 PM #2Emily Toder is the author of the poetry collections Beachy Head and Science (from Coconut Books) and the chapbooks No Land (Brave Men Press), Brushes With (Tarpaulin Sky), and I Hear a Boat (Duets). A graduate of the MFA program at UMass Amherst, she also holds degrees in literary translation and library science. She has translated various prose and poetry collections, among them The Life and Memoirs of Dr. Pi (Clockroot Books), Wendolin Kramer (Barcelona eBooks), and The Errant Astrologers (Ugly Duckling Presse). She lives in NY.

“The Problem of Water” was originally published in Sixth Finch.