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Saturday, March 17, 2007


by Lee Patton

The green dye's already cast
among plastic beer cups, trashed.
Steel wind lacerates, a lenten
knife slicing all pleasures.
Crows chase robins off branches
barren as paper accords unsigned,
dropped on hungover lovers in the park
who rend remnants of loyalty and regard:
"You've become a vulture, Patrick."
"And you, Megan? A parasite."

The two played Irish last night, lucky,
shamrocked, plucked from contention
into Guinness and joshing and sentiment.
The bar hummed with dancing lephrechauns
and shameless tries at broad brogues
from those Kevins, Mollys, and Seans
whose only Emerald Isle is a green-crepe
aisle at Safeway pitching dyed daisies.
Swilling from the passing pitchers,
innocent of Bloody Sunday, Falls Road, Brit
bombardment, fungal famine, indentures--
they raised mugs and pinched the greenless,
then bore homeward real Irish drunkenness.

Every holiday breeds its afterbirth,
sterile tomorrows--say, March eighteenth.
Like a fertile island waking to hunger,
the day's vector’s lost, its tide out,
its pantries empty, its final treaties sunk.
Pat and Megan prowl the park, ache-headed,
locked in civil combat, when--begorra!--
where clouds abate over the foothills,
skeins of snow sift like trigger fingers
unclenched to sprinkle sugar over the bliss
of a union too sweet for rancor. Across
a border long wired and mined,
they reach to risk a kiss.

Among several sites and quarterlies that have published Lee Patton's work: Country Mouse, Innisfree, The Threepenny Review, The Massachusetts Review, The California Quarterly, and Hawaii-Pacific Review. Among many anthologies: Hawaii-Pacific Review’s Best of Decade, XY-Files, including the title poem in What’s Become of Eden: Poems of Family at Century’s End. Among other literary activities and awards: Finalist the 2001 Lambda Awards for best novel (Nothing Gold Can Stay), 2006 Colorado Authors League short fiction award, The Borderlands Playwrights Prize in 1993 (The Houseguest) and the 1996 Ashland New Playwrights (Orwell in Orlando).