"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.