Lost Art

Eric Aimling

When I need a moment, I try to face in the direction of the nearest ocean—like I’mnew to this planet and reality is only a means to prepare for a second chance, in abetter place, with better oceans.Because I will need two chances if I’m going to get this right.I hope this isn’t too down to earth.Biding time—they say it’s a lost art.I keep rubbing a tiny shell in my jean jacket from a beachside casino wonderingwhat neutered non-fiction will devour my time. It’s like a blood-dripping questionmark hovering above me—but in a good way.The FBI has sixteen special agents dedicated to recovering lost art.I took a moment to look up the Whitney Collections Management Policy; in theevent of a work gone missing, simply report it to a list of Registrars and Directors—nothing too strenuous—because ideally the art is not gone, the art is just lost.Maybe the art has declared habeas corpus.Maybe it went to face the ocean with apprehension that it had already experiencedall the essential degrees of emotions art has to offer.Art is in need of a good cry.The dissimilarity of feeling that might underlie the similarities of expressionreading that in Madame Bovary brought to mind the lost art of burning a bridge; sothis may be a good time to let you know you’ve been increasingly not on my mind.One life to live is not an exaggeration—it is a hot notion—with success and excite-ment in exchange for a future damnation too remote to worry about.It’s okay the last thirty-five years haven’t been my strongest work.To not break free—but break even.Everything I do is free.

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Eric Amling is the author of From the Author’s Private Collection and editor of the small press, After Hours Ltd.

The Literary Review

61.2

Madison, New Jersey

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Editor: Minna Zallman Proctor
Poetry Editors: Michael Morse, Craig Morgan Teicher

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