Elaine Equi







RAIN PICNIC


Eating
             seared
                        salmon

serenaded
                 by
                        rain.

It’s refreshing to watch it pour
from our outdoor-seating
curbside-shack,

really just a tin roof
extended over the table
like an umbrella.

The golden beets, the pickled cabbage—
everything tastes extra moist and delicious.

And it is, I must say, entertaining
to watch pedestrians hurry by
getting soaked.

Some stoic, others giddy.

Most caught unaware
since there was zero chance of precipitation
in today’s forecast.

But it’s really coming down,
so I order a second lemon mint soda
allowing us to linger another fifteen minutes
before getting the check.

By then, the surprise shower has stopped
as suddenly as it began.

We should do this again more often.









OUT OF THE BLANK


We waited for Word to arrive
like a messiah in a stagecoach
or a sheriff riding a thundercloud.
But she came without a name,
a sheer barely there-ness,
teaching us first to hum
the song of the game show.
Essentially, nothing changed,
only now it seemed more colorful
and easily divided into categories—more fun.
Suddenly everyone took up a hobby.
Mine is getting in touch with
my antediluvian self—my inner reptile.
Fire and tools are still a long way off.
And language—well, who’s to say
we haven’t been speaking it all along.







NATURE ABHORS A VACUUM CLEANER


Verlaine is great, but I prefer Valleho.

Vespers is a lovely time of day.

I would describe myself as vibrantly vague.

Being a vestal virgin is a vocation, not a career.

Vampires have always vacationed in Venice.

On the veranda, Vincent and Vivien sipped vermouth.

Under the viaduct, vagabonds smoked weed.

The Visigoths would certainly vandalize, but the Vandals were not Visigoths.

Bobby Vinton was known as the Polish Prince; Mel Tormé, as the Velvet Fog.

Vicki is so vegan, she even feeds her Venus flytrap veggie burgers.

The verdict is in, vests are on the verge of making a big comeback.

Everybody strike a pose and vogue, vogue, vogue.









FADED FLASHBACK


Fled
            Fragment

Fishy
            Franchise

Final
            Fluke

Fads
            Famines

Fizz
            Foam

Flail
            Fix

Feeling
            Feral

Fake
            Forgers

Famous
            Friends






Elaine Equi’s most recent book is The Intangibles from Coffee House Press. Widely published and anthologized, her work has appeared in Big Other, the American Poetry Review, Brooklyn Rail, Court Green, The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, and in many editions of the Best American Poetry.

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