Nevertheless she wouldn’t
let down her hair.
HAIR: I am an extension of the dead.
EMPRESS: Light it up, light it down.
PAPA: Things don’t always matter.
THE SUN: No, things don’t.
Do something small and yellow, Nebraska. Nebraska,
inaugurate Arbor Day
by blowing, in summer, on my teenage ear.
CELIBACY: There is a pine tree.
PINE: I am your neighbor.
BOY: Boy, I’m going somewhere
where there’s a distance
out of a distance—that we had that we lost somewhere.
(“Old People Who Don’t Exist” is reprinted here today with permission from the poet. Poem also appeared in Birdsong and is featured in the poet’s upcoming book, The Other Poems, out from Fence this fall.)
Paul Legault was born in Ontario and raised in Tennessee. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and a B.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. His poems have been published in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, FIELD, and other journals. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the translation press Telephone Books. His first book, The Madeleine Poems, was published by Omnidawn in 2010. He currently lives in Brooklyn with his husband.
Pic by Billy Merrell