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After a Week in Chartres, a poem by Rebecca Pyle


After a Week in Chartres

Become absorbed into ideas about how a house is really a boat

Which is stopped

And a car is a boat

Which is limited and heartbroken,

Separated from sea

And you will begin to want the house and the boat

Which both break rules of how a house or a boat should be.

Can you not be childish and be a grownup? Yes, you can.

You can eat pan and pain and butter and fromage and apricot jams.

You can walk till your legs are both muscled and weary. Your smile

May be dependent upon knowing many things unbuyable are 


And will probably never be found again. They are like land

You cannot reach because the sea is too big and pretty and hungry

And too in love with its reflective capabilities, its dance eternal

With the sun.

What has the sun always been to you? The middle fiddle of the blender,

The machine which whirls us all into submission, acquiescence, glitter, 

Says our physical wounds will heal and our brains will rise above, our 

Novels about loneliness are nothing compared to the loneliness of planets

Who are soothed only by gravitational pulls, felt like tugs of the sea, in 

The sky, the gorgeous sky like a shell full of mother-of-pearl cascading

Into a show of colors, glitters, lives. The math! The math breaks itself

Down into the lining of blankets, their silken bindings.



Rebecca Pyle's writing has been nominated for the Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize; her fiction and poetry have appeared in Penn Review, Otis Nebula, Los Angeles Review, Hong Kong Review, Chattahoochee Review, Santa Fe Writers Project Quarterly, Eclectica, and Pangyrus.  Living and working this year in France, Rebecca is also an artist, her artwork most recently a part of West Trestle Review, MAYDAY, and The Banyan Review. See