Here a scalpel makes an opening, a splint frames a gesture.
Here bodies arrange into patterns that reveal a natural order
and a law.
Here you think ‘poetry is a thing preserved’, an agreement
between form and possibility.
Here all information coheres as knowledge.
Here an articulation of limbs, assuming the shape
of a grammar.
Here a closed system, in perfect correspondence
with the world.
Here a structure more satisfying.
Here be monsters, named and numbered, filed away.
dawn, too early for questions like
‘does the jar exist
when no one’s looking?’
what upside down means to a bat—
like a glove.
Only in stillness can you pin it to
the corners of understanding.
Wing parted to sell you a watch
it ushers you to a place
where fallen trees
stand back up. Look long enough
and you’ll see yourself reflected there
in the glass, among the rows and shelves
amid the vases and vitrines. There
where it’s always
This poem was originally published in The Lifted Brow #41. Get your copy here.
Aden Rolfe is a Sydney-based poet, essayist and performance writer. He’s currently working on his second book, The Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge