The Future Comes Later

By Lauren Winchester

When I’m working in my darling

            little box I forget

there’s an outside         a whole world


            with silt and tufts and clods                I guess

we conquered all that              to some extent


            The first of us combed through

the garden’s tendrils

                        and made shelter

            and fire, then eventually          industry


with its slaves and heirs           I didn’t

            bludgeon the hill

                        but I shined the shovel’s blade     I too


am smeared with gold

            and soot and anxious

for increase                  and on screens the sea


            is rising;             we call it

                        unbelievable    We can’t

fathom our buildings sunk


            to coral, the rubble

glazed to pearl

                                    Our city

            drenched and leached

of color, its hair tangled

            in the swaying weeds

Lauren Winchester's poems have appeared in Passages NorthTHRUSHBOAAT, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by the Edward Albee Foundation, and she is currently an assistant editor at The Hopkins Review.