A Downward Look

By James Merrill

Seen from above, the sky
Is deep. Clouds float down there,

Foam on a long, luxurious bath.
Their shadows over limbs submerged in "air,"

Over protuberances, faults,
A delta thicket, glide. On high, the love

That drew the bath and scattered it with salts

Still radiates new projects old as day,
And hardly registers the tug

When, far beneath, a wrinkled, baby hand
Happens upon the plug.


James Merrill’s poem is copyright © the Literary Estate of James Merrill at Washington University in St. Louis and appears by permission of Washington University and Stephen Yenser.