Omission [Ars Poetica]
Abby Paige



Tangle of stitches in overnight snow, where dozens of feet

walked past my window and wrote

                                                                            (never the thing itself)


except those that lead straight out

to the clothesline where sheets hang stiff.


I've spent whole days walking and still come

closest to the thing at the farthest distance from arrival.


The mirrored box holding matches on the mantle

masks itself in my face when I go to it for fire, as though it thinks


I want to find myself in everything.

I'm tired of this art today, its judicious leavings-out,


its truth by omission

as in the city, amid grid and glass and


concrete, even horses avert their gaze.

Only schizophrenics go looking in the face of strangers.


Friends talk to each other's foreheads as if

to the sky.


The eclipse a shadow

casting itself into outer-space


The snowflakeshow they fall,

submit themselves to snow


The loaf, wishing to be

eaten, refuses what it is.




Abby Paige is a writer and performer, based in Montreal, Quebec. Her work has recently appeared in Saranac Review and carte blanche. Her solo show, Piecework: When We Were French, will tour in New England and Quebec this winter.