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.