Refraction (Purgatorio XIII) / Aaron Boothby

Green as newly opened leaves, their garments / stirred and fanned by their green wings, / swirled and billowed out behind them.

 A finger agendas morning’s lift. The lens cracks on a cloud of lilac. There was a place to be. Evaporate. The leaves’ green turns a desire’s arrow into dispersal. No one knows. What to do with anything but a story I’ve been told. Ownership depends narrative why bother within otherwise. Harmonic wings vibrate a speech it gestures to a self.

Breath of petals closes eyes. Angelic isn’t spectacle so much as mannerism. The wings whirr. A scarlet iridescence of throat holds a stillness. It’s a story they evade telling. Goes out along already known. Arrives no possibility but conclusion. Angelic is certainty of repetition. They play this scene as mechanism. Blossoms engineer towards this only burst they know.

Hummingbirds shiver a lunar orb. When you taste from it the taste is of oranges. Blue like a round that could solve. A hand drawing a fragrance down sets it no agenda. Things do. You understand. Are not thought. Things do. You know but forget. Are not feeling. Though things feel the feeling of things they come across as textual quivering of electric shadow.

A bud genders itself solar. No one speaks a trajectory. There are clouds to pass through but no way to find them. I am come upon by what’s fragrant and submits to no angelic obey. One learns. It is difficult but one learns. There is to be inhabited there is no possess. Possess swallows a boundary. There is to brush against. Also consume. Motions hold no static vault.

After horror one learns the enough of a brush against. Taste. A broken stem is a surveilled site of decay. Things return themselves to their doing. Until cut. A knife is a small thing. Can do that. Can undo the that of many. The scene plays green billows and whirr. Angelic is never speak. Day’s ruined in evening’s tidal mauve. Then other avenues open. Lamplit.

Not only this. The scene is sensual limit. That elsewhere goes on. This is difficult. That their green wings hover each evening witnessed or not. Violets carpet. There are bells there is the call there is gull cry. I dreamt I had something to ask you. Solve is an eclipse I refuse. Is it a motion past or through. Does heat linger where taste obliterates possessive.

Enamoured of light at time’s edge in the glow of syllables.


Aaron Boothby is a poet from California now living in Montréal. Work has been published in PRISM, Axolotl, Liminality, and other journals while a chapbook titled Reperspirations, Exhalations, Wrapt Inflections was published in 2016 with Anstruther Press. Website can be found at

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