Poem: “Picnic”

My icebox lover, let us sit at opposite ends
of the blanket, pass a single egg back and forth,
the salt, the pepper, the tiny bites.
Let’s admire the suspended sunset of blueberries
in the jelly, decide not to open the jar.
The ants are making words on the checkerboard
of red cotton, like foreign newsprint shrilling its mysteries —
words of thunder, words of weather.
The future is obvious; let’s not puzzle
too long under its clouds.
Sharing this postcard sandwich, cucumbers and butter,
a hint suffices us for the whole.
The lemon slices smile sagely in the glass
and the bees waver between us, buzzing like knives,
ready to wound for their sugar.
We could fold our napkins, we could leave hungry,
not wait till the rain skins us in our clothes,
pushes us down in the soil like plants.
Lover, don’t grab for that last plate.
To be struck
once —
I’ve had enough lightning.

    This poem won a Commended award in the 2008 Cyclamens & Swords Poetry Contest. Read the winners here.