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  Table of contents Issue Twenty BOY GARLIC


The boy drifted off into an unintended sleep
A lofty corner of the local book shop
now assumed the dreamy appearance
of a field of garlic shrubs

He wielded a scythe far too large
for his scholastic frame, grunted
as he slashed and hacked at heads
of garlic, maliciously. Allium juice,
with its piercing aroma, splashed his face,
stained his clothes, seasoned the earth

Each bulbous plant that tried to ward him off
in a final defensive campaign
was unsuccessful, and died
Green cloves, wild garlic,
broad-leaved garlic, crow garlic,
bear, wood, black garlic -- all slaughtered.
Boy garlic

Bulbed heads squirmed in their dirt lodges
like orphans rudely awakened at the hour of Yule

The boy's features were ominous -
teeth, lips mucky with herb's innards
he consumed it hungrily before the essence
could escape the slopes of his grubby hands,
formed a goblet with his palms
to drink the vinegar of vampiric gods
Garlic, sweet, sweet nectar of garlic cloves

There was a windmill connected to the farmhouse,
carnivalesque, yet plain, plenty creaky
It spun like a lobbed skull -
offered incantations to the innumerable perished, pillaged,
cleaved. Boy garlic began to sprout.
Heads of children, bulbs of well-oiled young
necklaces hung 'round soft, silver-skinned necks
placed into golden-leafed baskets

How odd it was that all the plants looked as though they
had recently been stricken with gangrene!
Maggots ate dead garlic flesh,
releasing enzymes into the untilled soil

The boy bent down to retrieve a head,
he had in fact yanked his own hazelnut patch of hair instead.
The gothic novel he had been reading
flopped to the grass. His eyes reddened
back at the bookshop,
welled up with the liquid of all bad omens
He couldn't contain it
as it surged through his severed neckline

"Wake up, boy garlic. We need you."
He gazed down at his deathmask
It returned haunted stare
mouth curled in reply:
"What a handsome, handsome face you have, boy garlic.
Join us in the fields now with the rest of the children."




Erik Moshe is a poet from South Florida who is living in Woodbridge, Virginia. He writes articles and analysis on drones for Newsbud.com, an independent crowdfunded media platform.

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