Scattering Alice’s Ashes from the Pont D’Arcole


Sunlight dances on the Ziploc bag.
You tear it all the way open, tip it.
Half of our share of Alice’s remains
tumbles into the green Seine—

We watch the rippling water move from bank to opposite bank.
The ashes will join detritus as the river routes itself to the sea,

holy remains and flotsam married in the dark waters.


When you shake the plastic pouch,
the greater part of its contents,
are lifted, borne by the wind into the Paris air.

We see Alice’s spirit knows a trick—
It moves in water, yet rises,
her fiery essence mutates into light and motion.
What’s left of her is distilled into perfection.


We cross to the Quai des Fleurs, marvel
at the top-heavy hyacinths, fat tulips, know
Alice would’ve loved
the impermanence of this day.


Lynne Viti is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Baltimore Girls (2017) and The Glamorganshire Bible (2018), from Finishing Line Press, and micro chapbooks, Punting ( 2017) and Dreaming Must Be Done in the Daytime (2019), from Origami Poems Project. Her poems have appeared most recently in Nixes Mates Review, Gargoyle, and Chautauqua Review.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine. His new book will be out someday.