BOMBlog’s Word Choice features original works of poetry, fiction, and art. This edition of Word Choice, selected by Peter Moysaenko, features poetry by Laura Eve Engel and art by Coke O’Neal.
High-spirited though scarcely lighthearted, Laura Eve Engel’s poems are braced by a momentum of vivid conjecture and expanding conundrum—they gaze through themselves, through their maker, and set out for worlds by which the world may be voided or defined.
It feels good to love our country.
We must not say so. I’m divided by a love
of our millions of brilliant inventions
and how I’ll dumbly sniff and rub each one
until I’ve figured out how I can use it for that
other thing. Just like a brilliant inventor I too
have a body so I know everything’s invented
to pleasure a body. I was born to this country
and all of it was entranced by my tiny fingers
and then I learned where I could put them.
Before I was born there was sniffing and rubbing
and it formed a tiny unity. Already it was getting
too big to call by one name. It was becoming
a collection of purposes. Which is like calling the sky
a collection of purposes because stars exist.
This is why I write little notes to myself
reminding myself to take all the notes out
of my pockets before sleep. The notes say look
at the sky and when I remember to do it I feel
very American. I feel American when I want
to be able to rub up against what I’m pretty sure
is that planet. Planets exist. They hold the names
we gave them inside them like a breath. I need
to remember to look up the names of the planets
I’m seeing. I’m fairly certain of what I’m seeing.
It’s too bright to be anything else.