National Poetry Month: ALL THE SCIENCES by Laura Eve Engel

Apr 9, 2014Archive, Feature

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.