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  David Somerfleck
      "The Apocryphal Pill"

It's crisp. You can easily smell fresh menthol pine,
wild onions, dew, bird-excrement sitting in moist,
neat little brown round mounds for feet to slide
across their face, just-cut grass, and plenty of
animals. The cool, steady winds taste like the
sensation of churning a rich milkshake in and out of
your cheeks. The birds are noisier than usual, so
it'll likely rain soon.

Poppa laughs and scratches himself. I tag along. Home
is wherever and whenever it is now. In the back of his
neck I see the sidewalk, with all its cracks and
winding grooves. In his heavy eyes I see a thousand
tiny and red arms reaching a singular blue jewel that
is simply too darting to be caught by such small
fingers. His hair is like a mat of dying grass by the
sidewalk's side; it looks as if it's ready to
surrender to time, but you have to kick it damn hard
to loosen it at all.

He buys me a PEZ dispenser and a lemonade for himself.
"Watch," he says, sucking the drink into his face like
a trumpeter and spitting it at all the baboons. I ask
why their asses look like disgraced rainbows. He only
swallows and spits at them again.

He turns to me when they start spitting and urinating
back. Frustrated, he shouts at them something obscene
in Russian and throws his cup between the cage bars.
They start urinating in it and we, slowly, start
toward the goat farm.

Seizing a breath in through flared nostrils, I hold it
in my chest, tasting it, turning it like a new marble.


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