Lee Passarella




For the Elizabethans, the act of love
was a death in little.
How they must have cherished death,
to consider that most intimate,
and animate, of acts a practice run for dying.
Death would need to be something realer,
and much more lovely, for us to love it now
as much as that.

From our window we can see the wreckage
of two barely living maples
at the corner of the hotel parking lot.
Long finger bones point at us
through the armature of green. Below,
the cowed trunks are wound with ancient ivy,
as if to hold the dying wood together.

Standing entwined by the window,
our bodies aren't perhaps as young
as they once were, but just as willing --
the bed a sweaty tangle from the lovemaking,
and death, for us, a token
unreal as those dead fingers, lost against the backlit sky.


The subdivision's been manhandled,
a fairy ring torn up by exiguous roots.
Tree trunks, thick limbs take roofs
into their confidence, become second-story men.
On a few houses blue tarps flair,
looped like hungup parachutes.
One bedroom is open air,
with walls jogging stepwise
to a denuded roof.
It's quiet now, chainsaws
no longer griping about their chores.
The gawkers have left,
jaded as lessees
who get a new car every year.

Lee Passarella works as a senior technical writer for Peachtree Software and also serve as senior literary
editor for Atlanta Review magazine. His poems have appeared in a number of other journals, including The Formalist, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Chelsea, The Sun, Cream City Review, Blueline, Antietam Review, Mediphors, Farmer's Market, Snake Nation Review, Sonoma Mandala, and Lullwater Review.


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