‘Waves,’ A Poem by Jana Prikryl

From Her Collection No Matter

July 23, 2019  By Jana Prikryl

True little waves, from high above in a window seat
so few of you have enough of yourselves
to fold over onto, forming a dress

you wear out instantly, the most part
of you is continuous skin with its own living
texture curving over the bottom, a bone, though often enough

on land it appears you’re falling
all over yourselves to be tallest, each of you
prim threat of drowning should I contemplate

a swim, the window seat is just a way of taking in
the danger all at once, breathing the ultimatum in
and trying to breathe it back out at decent intervals.


Excerpted from No Matter. Copyright © 2019 by Jana Prikryl. Published by Tim Duggan Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Jana Prikryl
Jana Prikryl
Jana Prikryl is the author of The After Party, which was one of The New York Times’ Best Poetry Books of the Year. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The London Review of Books, The Paris Review, and The New York Review of Books, where she is a senior editor and the poetry editor.

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