Lee Patterson‘s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Airgonaut, Thin Air Magazine, and Entropy, among others. His chapbook, I get sad, is forthcoming from Ethel Zine in late 2019. Lee can be reached at email@example.com.
an essay where I compare myself to a tree
on the front page of the paper, a headline: beauty got drunk last night, cheated on itself. sometimes people are in love & sometimes people are just people. I have been everything at least once. I will be some things twice but only one thing tomorrow. the day after tomorrow I will be a magician, a wand, a saw cutting myself in half. the volume in my memory keeps getting softer as everything in me hardens: skin, jaw, the hipbone connected to my neck-bone. I twist & forget how to shout. I haven’t loved in reverse since I took pills in fast forward, but I’ve been sick longer than I haven’t, alive for so long I don’t know how I haven’t spoiled yet. these days I am realizing I am not much different than a tree, drowning in a drought. I am never not watered enough.
an essay that starts with the onset of & ends in a dream
—for my grandfather
finding your house keys in the fridge.
in the microwave. in the pocket
of a pair of jeans you never remember
owning. waking up crying
because you’re still in love
a month later. 6 months later.
2 years later. forgetting how to breathe.
forgetting the capital of wyoming &
which ocean california crashes into.
the last argument you had with your mother.
remembering that you forget.
forgetting love. the thank god that follows.
finding your house keys in the sock
drawer, in every smith’s lyric,
between the sky & what falls from it.
a dream, in a stupid dream.