National Poetry Month: ALL THE SCIENCES by Laura Eve Engel
All the Sciences
by Laura Eve Engel
The year I fail all the sciences there are
many factors but no one’s in any way confused.
The radio brimming with everything it knows
about some shooters until it gets the shooters
down to two. The dead men’s rooms reveal
nothing about unhappiness. What starts out
as reason refusing to make more of itself
has a way of becoming several mixed reports
from the field, where I’m having a feeling
of being eleven and watching the sun set.
I’m having a feeling of my chest as a trunk
full of blankets and answers to questions
about who gets to keep a garden. Often
enough we return to the field with trowels,
intentional. I’m told this is an American
approach to the problem. I’ve been trying
to figure out what it means to have
an American approach to a problem.
Maybe it’s when I think the thoughts I have
that don’t work hard enough to stick
probably weren’t deserving of the field,
and not when I think the ones that do
are lucky. We like to be told what we’re doing
is difficult so it’s correct that the sky’s mostly
to light or to egg down the calm sides
of a mixing bowl. I remember that to make
a solution, something needs to dissolve.
Sunsets. The library. The parts we’ve picked
apart with borrowed beaks or tractors.
It feels good to get an old thing next to
a new thing because of how sure it is
that they’ll never turn into each other, or
maybe it’s because we like what putting a rock
near a rocket says about what we can do
in the meantime. Sometimes I like to read
backwards until the bullet re-enters its gun.
Until the dead men remove their heads
from the bags and are about to be
hungry or can almost remember what
they came into that room for or are born.
This poem is from issue 38.2. You may purchase a copy here.