Psychoanalysis of Water

By Forrest Gander b. 1956 Forrest Gander
The clock here is quiet.   
Into the rain’s applause,   
a woman rises
fatigued. Tablets
dissolve in a glass by the bed.   
The wind lifts, branches   
animating inconsonant darkness.
She undoes her gown,   
lays it over the bedpost.   
Seductive leg hair. Almost
dawn, she makes coffee like that.

Low thunder, glints
of lightning, the dog’s
concern. Rain on the roof,   
friends walking across my grave,   
her mother told her, that’s all   
I listen for.
And why not the hiss and wake   
of cars on the wet road
bursting into transparence under tents   
of streetlight, winking out   
into afterglow. Glances that catch   
anonymous faces at windows   
in early lit houses like her own.

This way she drifts off, mesmerically.   
The bathtub overflowing.

Forrest Gander, “Psychoanalysis of Water” from Lynchburg. Copyright © 1993 by Forrest Gander. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted with the permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press,

Source: Lynchburg (1993)

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Poet Forrest Gander b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Marriage & Companionship, Nature, Relationships, Weather

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Forrest  Gander


Born in California’s Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry—informed by his knowledge of geology—turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action.

Gander’s books of poetry include Eye Against . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Marriage & Companionship, Nature, Relationships, Weather

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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