A Poem by Laura Eve Engel

by Mark Bibbins, Editor


My body is afraid of your body when your body
moves to move away. My body is a theme party
that’s found a deeper way to care about its guests
and when they leave. It’s me and not my body
that gets the words of the song wrong, My body lies
over the ocean, though it’s my body that gets up now
to turn off the television. On it, two bodies who aren’t
your body read news that pertains to other bodies
and are proper inside their clothing. I or is it my body
knows when it’s time to make a room go dark, the trick
is sending the sound away. Sometimes when I’m trying
to fall asleep I picture large quantities of mercury.
It feels good to picture this, it all slows down.
Sometimes when things feel good, everything speeds up,
like when a body responds to the music at theme parties.
I wonder if you’re having the same thought as I
am having now, that it’s too quiet to be the world.

Laura Eve Engel’s work can be found in the Boston Review, Crazyhorse, Tin House and elsewhere. A recipient of fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, she is the Residential Program Director of the UVa Young Writers Workshop.

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