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death

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Pain

My father was never one to complain. On the morning of the day he died, an ulcer he’d suffered from for years, and left untreated, ruptured and began to bleed. Two days later I met with the town coroner. He told me the end had been painless, that, as his life leached away, my father would only have felt increasingly weak and light-​headed. The coroner, trying to make me feel better, was lying.

Glebov Junior

On Friday evening Glebov Senior took a turn for the worse: The ache started in his chest, spreading to his shoulder and then into his back. The ambulance was sent for. 

Photo by Marcus Bleasdale

Against Apathy

In the placid lean of an arid summer, in the lingering
snarl of pit latrines, the sharp barbs of the acacia,
in the opaque eyes of the girl whose fingers frenzy

The Defeated

In battles of no renown My fellows and I fell down,
And over the dead men roar The battles they lost before.
The thunderstruck flagstaffs fall,

Funeral

I saw the procession, followed the coffin like the others, with head respectfully bowed. I found no reasons to ask them, Who’s this stranger? Where’d he live? How’d he die? There are many causes of death, among them the ache of life. I asked m [...]

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