an essay where everyone looks at the sky
the sky, a broken robin, clipped from the neck down.
beneath the robin, a diagram on how to conjugate
the sky. I am regurgitating my youth & now
the sidewalk is messy. I never not loved
the way you look in the sun, in the milk
of the moon, in the 60-watt lightbulb
in the lamp in the living room,
so I write a letter to death to say, please
don’t say hi, manners are for the birds
& if you come, come for me first.
see, my mother is still alive, thank god.
my father, too. & it wasn’t the cancer
that took my grandmother,
but the absence
my grandfather that did.
an essay about marriage
my dreams are decades apart, but in each of them a moment: a crimson sky rises then falls, the terror of a country lost as it just, in a blip, falls off a map. & so I go to the moon because I can, & I stay on the moon because I can. & I’m on the moon, which is cool & all, but it’s like shit do I miss you. I miss your nose & the eskimos who taught me how to kiss it. I miss the songs I never sang to you, & your feet swollen & sore as you carried me from one feeling to the other.
Lee Patterson’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Entropy, Love’s Executive Order, and Thin Air Magazine, among others. His chapbook, I get sad, will be published by Ethel Zine in late 2019.