Paul Legault

Issue No. 11 • December 2013

in Beijing once
we were reading the only good Robert Frost poem
and Jessica vomited as a critical response
for there was cheap baijiu, for there were small oranges--
she and Juli and I drank and
that’s cause that’s what he said to do is why

the way it was in Toronto
was different. You look like you’re from
there. One day you got married in it
and everyone was like: Toronto!
it is fun to do almost anything in this life
you knew that then but only sort of

in Amherst we got stoned once--
I was usually that there but
this was in Emily Dickinson’s backyard
that time a newfoundland-ghostdog barked at us
it was like: I’m her dead dog Carlo / get out

it means something to go to Water Fire
in Providence
it means your boyfriend went to RISD
well it’s a beautiful thing and
the only rave I’ve been to with gondolas

I was walking along the streets
of St. Louis
and I met Dot Devota’s mom
fresh from Fort Gondo
she liked me and I liked her
we both liked what she daughtered 

then in L.A. you were never really driving
and you’re not supposed to get nostalgic about traffic but
it’s like levitating but
on a chair. And for everybody
it’s like waiting for everybody to go
which is not not like being alone

and in Ensenada there aren’t any
diseases you do want to get. It was fun
except how I was still closeted then
and my uncle paid a stripper to motorboat me
getting out was like: hello finally

yet I always loved Charlottesville
the porches that go on for days--
no, it was the days that did that
well I walked by someone playing a banjo on one once so
if only a few times, that’s happened there

and San Francisco sort of begs you to have public sex in it
turn me over like a ballerina
she really does look light a city at night
I never knew which way to keep watch
not that that ever stopped us

now if you feel like you want to know
you’ve become the right kind of aesthete
it’s like having a name for what
you don’t know
but y’know

and then in Tehran you learn
how to behave -- yes that actually
was love on the chaise lounge with her tiger
and Jafar never traveled anywhere but inward
the postcards all say going home is like having friends
that love you everywhere but right there