We’re renting on the edge of the 14th tee; a large pond
where ibises poke for bugs and snails, the faint thwack
of club meeting ball like small-arms fire in the distance.
The real urgency not carts humming from sand hazard
to hole. It’s the breeze blowing dust through window
screens, the yellow pollen of oak, sycamore, sweet
birch and pine coating the glass coffee table, our
books, the rounded ceramic lamps, these particles,
this miniscule soot that is the saffron powder on the
red hood of our Taurus, the fragile pink surface of your
breathing. There is no remedy for stories of suffocation,
air washed by acid rain, the flight of a ball outside
like something expelled from its original purposes—
white nippled hardness, severed knuckle, the soft fall
onto perfect grass, where darkness crouches, asthmatic
and insolvent among blade after blade giving off seed,
slash, bruise, the inflamed gism and surrender that carry
the tardy genius of oxygen into your needful blood.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

John Allman | Mudlark No. 31
Contents | Biking the Course