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Liminal Interval by Ben Groner III

Liminal Interval

Ice cubes of lily pads in the canal’s cloudy liquor

remind me not to touch whiskey or stouts

in solidarity with my wife. It’s beginning to work,

this time, we think. Bound for the fishmonger, I pause

here on this bridge above the rail line that can take

me to Dublin or Sligo, county or coast, I stop

here where nothing stills: not the buoyant university

students; not the mothers steering strollers; not

the stooped men making for the pub where dark ales

await to be sipped silently, to vanish like the week’s

days as they nod at each other slowly, knowingly;

not the guy in joggers flicking his cigarette into

the canal as if it were an ash tray beneath an ash tree’s

shock of maroon that signals to its neighbors time is still

moving, let’s get on with it lads and I am marooned

here with bream beneath the water-lilies, wrens wrenching

from tree to tree to tree, all these hastening faces effacing away.

Ben Groner III is the author of the poetry collection Dust Storms May Exist, forthcoming from Madville Publishing in 2024. He is also the recipient of Texas A&M University’s 2014 Gordone Award for undergraduate poetry and a Pushcart Prize nomination. He has work published in Whale Road Review, GASHER, The South Carolina Review, The Shore, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere. Formerly a bookseller at Parnassus Books, he lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and son. You can see more of his work at


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