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“After Rimbaud” by Lee Patterson

After Rimbaud

by Lee Patterson

I.

There were wild grasses and stillness, embers and the garrulous talk of wine. The trees reached toward the next drug of water: falling ambrosia from the window’s potted vegetation. Quite ugly, I snapped a cigarette into my mouth and observed the seven-sided night. I saw it was parallel to the planes of existence where a blue eye might sense eternity in the fovea. Happy, without condemnation, I counted the neighbors I didn’t know passing by. Named the women Ember, or Greeny, their pets with them cutting little figure eights like bees caught up in the stupid miracle.

II.

Painted lanterns with pink fingers, they were tenets of the intractable parade, wishing for home! My ironbanded ankles were really getting to me. I passed by a church at night service and I saw the mice in the communion wafers on the polished altar, that the cosmos, dark arches of being in the roof, was peering incredulously at the mourners. These were smaller fires, each with their hats in their hands and fidgeting with their timepieces. Nothing like the stained glass, fragile as pelicans in waterspouts.

III.

I’m trying to forget you, angels of my better nature. I notice you rehearsing the diamondine performances of the bees, but the neighbors bellow their fires and make a little more of the infinite. I see the clouds shadowboxing their drunken machinery, and my inner monologue pendulates between now and the memory, the fata morgana of hollow transubstantiation.

Lee Patterson is a Ph. D candidate for Literature at Florida State University where he is studying the intersections of Marxism and American traditions. His work has been published in Palaver, The Columbia Review, Foothill, West 10th, and the Florida English Journal.