Not Without: A Poem

Pulitzer Prize winner Forrest Gander partnered with artist Ashwini Bhat to create this work, the collaborators’ first for Alta.

artwork by ashwini bhat is designed to complement forrest gander's poem

Not grasping your hand * on pause
Not coming closer * taking a detour
Not to dock no dock * more than arm’s length
Neither seen with nor transparent * locked in lock down
No double shadow * fingertips stopped short of gratitude
Not two redwoods * emerging from fog
Nor tracing surfaces lightly * as headlights stroke the garage door
Neither lapsing, nor * like a tide gone out
Not the way color, say the neighbor’s tree * of persimmons speaks
Not without portent * from a distance
Not as the wind plunges itself * into its own pocket
Not the cloud * but where the cloud was
Not yet the end * of  “we”

Forrest Gander was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection Be With.
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