"Suppose You Wish
to Cut the Grass" by Tom Snarsky

You will need some lip service about love

and a very cooperative garden snake.


You will need one precisely greasy peach.


You will need to find a flaw

where none exist, like when the guard


can tell it’s two kids in a trench coat


instead of an adult who pays bills

and complains about the weather. You will


need the music paused for ~20 minutes.


You will need two Ken dolls: a be-

spectacled Ken doll and a Ken doll ready


for the beach. You will also need a plaus-


ible backstory over the course of which

they (the two Ken dolls) fall in love. You


will need tracking devices on all the trees.


You will need a lake poem like “The Lake”

by Daryl Hine, but cut out every other in-


stance of the word “lake” with safety


scissors. You will need the color blue

to take a break from being seen


for long enough to smudge it out


of the jays and their small shadows. You’ll

need the same thing from the color black


but tell it separately so it doesn’t think


it’s just following blue like a bit player

follows the lead. Lastly you will need


bandages for when the grass cuts back


on its withholdings and leaves you

with whatever your flexible spending plan


can buy at Rite Aid: burn lotion, some eye


drops, a heart rate monitor, and a Milky

Way Midnight you paid for yourself, out of


pocket—your quiet tradition, most Fridays.