Issue 94, Winter 1984
Because distance becomes tumescent in the heat
the haze erases buildings out of walking range.
We’ve considered walking as far as the backyard
and spread a quilt there, one huge book the three
of us hold open as our fingers hold
our separate texts. Lemon slices, sugar and ice
shook until the cubes melted and bruised the rinds,
we downed the pitcher in minutes, refilling
the leftover party cups half a dozen times.
Now, absently declining verbs that end in “i-o-r,”
you fish out the lemons and nibble the implacable
pulp, setting the sections in the mown grass
like phases of a lunar calendar for the world
our quilt describes. “Tonight the meteorologist
says to watch for Jupiter, just left of the moon.”
(You’ll have it reassembled by then?)
Out of the same nowhere the planet will come
you announce that. Oh let the lemons lie there,
upended yellow boats, their empty inboards
so clean and white, let them always ferry
such distractions from ourselves.