The mirror without costume
after Paul Verlaine
Every just character in a novel
may not have high cheekbones.
Your dreaming body drinks perfume while
the day dances after the not-life,
the be-still life, behold! Your desires are made
naked without reflection. If only
each thought were not preceded by naïve thinking.
Soft solid visage, followed by reflection.
If only each cavity knew oblivion.
The eye, preceded mostly by footwork,
waves into pain. The right to feel the lights.
Far from your eyes from your chest
in fact, elongated from all anatomies,
I witness some kind of imperial language floating in season.
The mirror without costume.
we train negligible adjustments
for intrinsic reasons
or we examine
a particular facet, like
the space of sound
means to read, not more than what
the system presents, but more than what we can say
, map. the way you see your father’s face
in your daughter’s and what that initiates
in a pre-verbal context. rhythm
in the analysis makes possible
no object in particular.
the more assonance, the more regarded;
the more sonority, the more movement.
the affective hills and caverns—
who can or would judge this example.
piezoelectricity of the bone
structure clings to possible linguistics
a placement of life architecture
simple mechanics tend to privilege place over
word, that is to say, to privilege movement
over the idea of movement.
—to let stand, or, standing, to let lean.
There must be some other way
after Liliane Giraudon
Some stories tend to erase the sun.
We buckle under
their chronology modulating parenthesis, so
I may have been a painter.
I began by sketching rocks to mimic the
internal scarring behind the floating rib
. I slowly pulled my car over the rocks.
No one could make sense of the trees I had been drawing.
Enfin, I found an arbor.
I rushed my somber skin—visible whiteness.
What can we say to our bodies.
The trees had always been at the window.
Where the clouds are so far up in the sky,
they seem not to move, yet they change.
The carrion birds holding in still circle.
I screamed into the echograph—
graphing the location of my ovaries.
Radiation completed me, in fact.
I erased the sun,
I say, just bobbing along
a kind of timeline filled with my life.
They just won’t quit.
What’s the other option?
I mean, imagine you’d been the one
to discover astrology.
Would you believe you?
Laura Wetherington’s first book, A Map Predetermined and Chance (Fence Books 2011), was selected by C.S. Giscombe for the National Poetry Series. Her work appears in the Colorado Review, FENCE, VOLT, Minnesota Review, Drunken Boat, among other journals. She currently teaches in Sierra Nevada College’s undergraduate English and low-residency MFA programs.