Mudlark Poster No. 129 (2015)

How to Get There | Four Poems
by Laurin Becker Macios

Bee | Manet’s Gypsy with a Cigarette | Dear Directness | Wild

The Bee Being One Day Gone

The bee being one day gone.
The hive being one day nearly empty.
The queen and some small drones left behind
or staid out of devotion. 

The sun shining hard
at the crop. The bee-keeper’s
forgetful hand caught
in mid air by a tremor, by the century, 
by the hiccups in the nearby river.

The sheen of sugar-syrup, the easy way it glides
and sweetens, doing only what it can by design.

The hungry bee, the thirsty bee. The buzz
of wing on wing, the weight
of the bee’s pinched body, the lightness
of the pollen beaded in its hair.

The day when suddenly 
you forget where it was you meant to go,
home, where it is, where it ever was, 
and how to get there.


Cover Image, Manet's Gypsy Woman Smoking a Cigarette

Édouard Manet, Gypsy with a Cigarette
undated, oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 15/16 inches
Princeton University Art Museum

Manet’s Gypsy with a Cigarette

Hand on hip and head propped 
on palm, arms V’d like wings 
toward only she knows where.

The thick air blows one cool,
thin breath ruffling her blouse 
draped like lust over her arms.

Her eyes glint universal worry. 
The pale cigarette leaning from 
her peach lips is disappearing like 
the clear answer, the road home.

The blue-pearl horse with a storm 
for an eye, a perked ear, awaits her 
weight, one heel jutting its side. 
He whispers to her as the ash falls, 
soft and sharp, grazing her skin.

Dear Directness

The poet on the radio says
he admires directness 
and avoids statements 
of emotion because they feel 
false. I feel annoyed seems 
to be both and, I promise, 
is true.

The trees are indifferent 
and look less cold than us. 
The bus looks very cold. Its 
accordion torso plays itself
quietly, weaving the salty
metal ends through wet Boston air
like a fish I surely, by a minute, 
won’t catch.

Evening drifts predictably 
over my marriage, and it’s starless
everywhere but in this room
in this city.


In the last clouded sky 
              you hold three tulips 
with two fingers. 

You say goodbye to the sun, 
              you watch it creep below the water, 
the hills, the big boxy railroad car 

full of you-don’t-know-what. 
              Three deer run past, 
almost at your feet, 

and you yell at them to stop, 
              but they are wild and run faster, 
because you are wild too, 

just an animal standing upright, 
              holding what you’re too poised to eat. 
Suddenly the heads of the tulips, 

the bright red mouths, 
              are gone. 
Suddenly the clouds 

are eating the stems. 
nothing is in your hand, 

cupped now in the shape 
              of what it used to hold.

Laurin Becker Macios holds an MFA from the University of New Hampshire, where she taught on fellowship, and was program director of Mass Poetry, a poetry outreach organization in Massachusetts, for nearly three years. She has just moved to NYC and is the new programs associate at Poetry Society of America. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Salamander, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Pinch, Kindred, and elsewhere. More at

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