He was a systems man
_ _with a system, but a system is not a belief
system. When the rains came everyone was saved
but him, because he wasn’t a boat
a man could fit in. It was certain there was a god—
_ _there have always been gods. & certainly
there were parents also—
_ _there have always been people.
But he cleared people away like brush obscuring
_ _a tomb.
& what was beneath the stone? A boat. A belief,
not a system. But the only belief for a systems man
_ _is circumspection.
Seth Abramson is the author of The Suburban Ecstasies (Ghost Road Press, 2009) and a contributing author to The Creative Writing MFA Handbook (Continuum, 2008). In 2008 he was awarded the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize by Poetry. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2008, Poetry, American Poetry Review, AGNI, New American Writing, New York Quarterly, and elsewhere. A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he is currently a doctoral student in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (updated 6/2009)