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October 2013, vol 8, no 3

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Mark Smith


Wanting to be drunk, thinning husk of a man limping the length of the fence thick with honeysuckle, clustering bees, grandfather asked me to fetch the bucket, the hidden can of beer in his boot. To bring them to him among nectar, petals, the deafening frenzy of buzz where he hung the rusty catcher of rain beneath the hive, filled it with the fluid that marked his life of loneliness; his mind a numb cocoon of silence. And he held my trembling hand as the bees swarmed towards the sweetness, sucked, wobbled their way up the bucket's rim; some in woozy flight to buttercups, others writhing wasted in the mud. That summer before his death grandfather, years sober, closer to the permanence that is earth, still loved stumbling, wild whirling, the quenching of a ravaging thirst.

heat wave, go!
graveyard grass higher
than the headstones