Brandon Hobson The 2River View, 6.3 (Spring 2002)

Saint Augustine’s Lamp

A woman was dismantling my lifeline
While I instructed shadows
To stay close.

At the seaport,
Saint Augustine gave me a lamp.
We argued over chess
And hot tea.
His laughter crumbled mountains.

I insisted that his ears
Were the devil’s white mice,
That the china doll in the store window
Was his dead grandmother.

The morning, he said,
Will preserve your loneliness,
Whereupon he turned himself
Into a swirl of blue smoke.

Inside my lamp,
I made little animals from clay
While everyone else
Sailed out to sea.

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