Image Copyright © 2012 Ernest Williamson III
The Time Machine
i. In the screening room
The redbuds are studded with a bloodred
growth that spreads by the minute,
as if caught in time-lapse photos,
the graybrown background unchanging
as a snapshot. It’s an old picture,
a publicity still. I recognize the people
in it, long-dead film stars whose movies play
each night in my slowly unwinding head.
ii. Le temps, la durée
Because eventually, it happens: you step outside
the frame, beyond the calendar of the lovely
quotidian, where suburbanized nature ticks off
the young weeks—the early cherry and star magnolia,
Confederate jasmine and ornamental pear,
the dogwood with its alleged stigmata,
beyond Shrovetide and Easter, to become
that ultimate, unregenerate you.
Lee Passarella is a founding member and senior literary editor of Atlanta Review and acted as editor-in-chief of FutureCycle Poetry and Coreopsis Books. His poetry has appeared in Chelsea, Cream City Review, Louisville Review, The Sun, Antietam Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, The Formalist, Cortland Review, and many other periodicals. Recent publications include Concho River Review, Stickman Review, and Rock & Sling. Swallowed up in Victory, Passarella’s long narrative poem based on the American Civil War, was published by White Mane Books in 2002. In addition, he has published two other books of poetry: The Geometry of Loneliness (David Roberts Books) and Sight-Reading Schumann (Pudding House Publications).