by Heather Christle
This program is designed to move a white line
from one side of the screen to the other.
This program is not too hard, but it has
a sad ending and that makes people cry.
This program is designed to make people cry
and step away when they are finished.
In one variation the line moves diagonally
up and in another diagonally down.
This makes people cry differently,
diagonally. A whole room of people
crying in response to this poem’s
variations results in beautiful music.
This program is designed to make such
beautiful music that it feels like at last
they have allowed you to take the good canoe
into the lake of your own choosing
and above you the sky exposes one
or two real eagles, the water
warm or marked with stones,
however you like it, blue.
—The New Yorker, April 18, 2011