Replace your paper life. It is so long
to have not yet left you may have forgotten
to admonish the clocks for their harsh

advances, addicting you to instants
meant for the click-march of a robot heart.
Like a white sleeve seen under the tree-line,

you want to astonish from afar, though
at a distance you may be thin as a stitch
and needled through nothing but air,

but air is often enough, often all there is
in an otherwise monopolized room where
you wish the furniture could reupholster

itself the way that wind and waves
perfectly disturb the ocean’s surface.
Smell salt, the balsam of water, its pulse

probing up and in and out and up again,
irregular and so better than the escalator
that you know too well, silver stairs

rendering your legs useless regardless
of the direction. Your legs are up to you.
The water could be up to the levy.

Be taken for a walk, to a fitting where
you discover that your thoughts are darker
than the desired disguise. Trust your thoughts,

they’re up to snuff: the smell of twenty flora
is not flora enough for your lapel, because now
that you’re upon your feet you’re thinking

of leaving them, and can’t say where it is
you’re going, whether it’s algal green you seek
or the color of another fungus.

May I suggest a direction? Approach the apples
you’ve only seen through spyglass, take cover.
Live an orchard life then pulp it for another.


Author Image

Andrew Seguin is a poet and photographer. His chapbook, Black Anecdote, is a past winner of the Poetry Society of America’s New York Chapbook Fellowship, and he is the recipient of a 2013 Emerging Poets Fellowship from Poets House. Andrew’s most recent photographic work, The Whale in the Margin, is a series of cyanotypes inspired by Moby-Dick. For more information, please visit

Author photo courtesy Sofia Verzbolovskis.

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