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Independence Day 1.

3.

Missed it again this year, the guns-n-God pageant at First Baptist, armed guards

Whitman walked hospital wards on the Fourth, 1863, with cherry syrup he poured

invading the aisles. They’ll play it later on one channel or another—they always do. At ten,

into ice water, dispensing sweet drinks to the boys with news of the war, Meade’s

Juan and two amigos whose names we didn’t get were banging up sheetrock in the basement—

victory, Lee’s retreat—good and strong, he wrote, but innocent—the bells ringing sundown

air conditioning claiming another room. The Fourth’s not a holiday for them, Juan says. Next door

peals, the usual fusillades of crackers and guns.

a guy is singing, Girl what you drinkin? Go on let it sink in. Here for the weekend.

4. We heard firecrackers midday, but now, the suburbs quiet at sundown, just the bravuras of birds,

By afternoon the men are slapping up mud downstairs, slathering joints, hiding the studs where we’d thought to write our names.

and next door I hear America singing, Blame it on the ah-ah-ah-alcohol. The mudmen are paid

2.

and gone, the drywall done. Red buds of montbretia in the bed near the road

The humidity has lifted a bit, the breeze still wicked hot, even zinnias beginning to wilt

pack stems like firecrackers green wicks, clusters seething and lit, the cleome’s pink

as the sun smacks them down hard, the way it does. Our neighbor Ginger stopped by to say

waits in the heat, a dirty bomb of seed.

hi, eye our new mailbox of rock, mortared by a guy halfway home in the house next door.

Ed Madden is the poetry editor for undefined magazine.

Along the front walk, something’s riddled the sunflowers, leaves bitten to lace, petals clipped—bug-bit eclipse—and a green rash of aphids like little blisters, swarms of ants tending them, drawn to the sugary shit they secrete, honeydew, sticky and sweet. They’ll bite off the wings to keep them put. We want what we want.

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undefined : book seven

Profile for Mark Pointer

undefined magazine Book 7  

No fluff, no filler. Just Columbia and the outstanding artists, musicians, architects, chefs, designers, painters, sculptors, craftsmen and...

undefined magazine Book 7  

No fluff, no filler. Just Columbia and the outstanding artists, musicians, architects, chefs, designers, painters, sculptors, craftsmen and...

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