Milford Sound

by Stephanie Burt

               on Nathan’s birthday

Were the vertical layers made
Advancing or retreating

Why can’t you see
The glacier itself in the mist

Are we entering Asgard or Alfheim
Or Vanaheim where the friendlier deities

Of cultivating vegetables hang out
One soaked-through child loves the sea

The other wants to draw so many
Pictures of it	All of my paper gets wet

Spate or spatter of droplets forever
No one is judged	    Below the rainbow bridge

Under the roar the high amplitude the nonhuman
No one could sail	    This feedback this fiord

Moss and silver beech and assorted shrubs
Will flourish on the surface of the rock

Able to drink salt spray 			      He said
He loved it	     He also said I didn’t know

It would be extremely rainy	I didn’t know
The mountains would be covered in tears

Stephanie Burt is Professor of English at Harvard. Among her recent books are After Callimachus (Princeton UP, 2020) and Don’t Read Poetry: A Book About How to Read Poems (Basic, 2019). A new chapbook of poems about superheroes will appear from Rain Taxi Editions this year, and a new full-length from Graywolf in 2022.