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Timothy Donnelly


All Vanishes

               after Comte de Lautréamont


Old ocean, salty bachelor, when you roam

     the solitude of your realm, you are right to

grow boastful over the magnificence of what you are

     and give birth to, plus all that love you get from poets!


Voluptuously balanced by the soft perfume

     of your imperturbable slowness,

the most grandiose among the attributes

     circumstance has bestowed on you, you unroll—


emboldened by your own ambiguity, and over the whole

     of your surface—waves in cursive, demonstrating a steady

propensity for endlessness. Each hastens after the other

     in parallel, individuated by an interval, a glimmer—no sooner


does one dissolve than the next rises up to meet it

     where it dies, accompanied by the melancholy tone

of the foam as it melts into air, warning us that all is foam,

     all vanishes, even the migratory bird


that rests on you with confidence, entrusting its body

     to the movements of your body, proud

echo of your finesse, until the bones of its wings

     recover, and are strong enough now to resume their flight.

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