"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.