A Poem by Paul Legault

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

De Imagine Mundi 2

Everyone saw herself, the way one sees anything:
 Nested into a gestural perception — 
 But then the world doesn’t resemble a curtain
 Or an individual lair you forgot you’d made
 Where there was already a hole.
 To follow every stage direction at once
 You must first form a sphere together
 Of a human scale hitherto unknown
 And since made so by a physicality 
 With little function but to trace
 Its interests into the string matrix
 Of some bird whose name we forgot
 But whose face we just couldn’t.

I don’t get people from Boston
 Who stay there but find the ones
 Who leave it to be fair examples
 Of the times and their precedents, if made
 Slightly baby-esque by this old notion
 Of getting younger slowly.

Elevators get a bad rep
 Like the half-nudes who descend in them,
 Centauri, topless and natural as the lighting
 When it gets dark around itself.
 Some policemen have small cars
 To patrol around in. Skeeter, I whispered
 To you in the steeple. Regarding the Mugwumps, 
 You suggested a new episode that could be
 The final hour of us at last that had been
 Projected to occur, shortly, like a presence.
 Fewer things happened that made a boat.

Taking a path of kindness to know
 What that is like, they drew you
 As if in sleep, removed from description,
 “To be traveling always, affixed between
 A routine and the unscheduled finale
 The gaffers whispered of behind us.”
 After all, thunder is a sufficient means
 Of proving the existence of electricity
 In it and all this talk.

Paul Legault is the author of four books of poetry, including The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn), The Other Poems (Fence), The Emily Dickinson Reader (McSweeney’s), and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror 2 (Fence). His writing has appeared in Vice, The Third Rail, Art in America, and elsewhere.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.