Academic journal article Hecate

Scarlet Fever

Academic journal article Hecate

Scarlet Fever

Article excerpt

'Blood and bone made the poppies grow,' Fleur wrote in

her memoir, already corrupted by previous editors before

it got to my friend. Fleur was a nurse in the second

world war. In peace time blood, the red rum

of war murders, presented its spring petals

An old lover of mine kept a picture of an opium

poppy above his bed and tried growing them in

the garden. His partner said no to marrying him,

saying he was already wed to his poppy juice

At the tramstop I meet two brothers, one grey-haired,

one black-headed, a year apart in age. Their bones

hold the crooked interest painters love. Long shadows

in their cheekbones and the pallor of night-walkers.

One writes me the name of his favourite author to read:

Cormac McCarthy and his book Blood Meridian

At the restaurant Mark gives me a scarlet poppy,

then leaves refusing to eat. He returns later to

our group with a bag of fruiterer's cast-off pears and

apples. Nervous in company he shakes when I kiss

him farewell. I ask about his balloons. He sews hot

air balloons in silks and flies escapees above the city

I meet a musician of name, of keyboard mastery

and powder abuse. 'I saved his life once,' my friend

tells me. 'At a party when he broke the glass

coffee table. I held his back from the spear

of glass.' He looks angelically wasted and I

cannot hear what he is saying

Antique dealers have bloodless hearts. …

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