You will mess up a perfectly good picnic

You will miss the heartbeat of pines, of willows, because you won’t wander away from the company of friends to lie alone in a hammock under the trees and let your mind analyze nothing more than the breeze on the hairs on top of your arms.  Whatcha thinkin about? Eyes sharpen, slowly:  “Nothing.”

The hammock over in the shade is instead the thing your eyes rest on every half hour or so.  You will wander from one person, or group clutching iced coffees or beers, bantering, over to the next, never staying long enough to build past excessive silences past several attempts at chatter to familiarity to ease to friendship to a real conversation not because you said things deeply but because each of the things you said to one another was layered with several memories and meanings.

You will uneasily smoke a cigarette, stand up, and walk purposefully to someone else.   You will hate the dragonflies zipping into your peripheral vision with their radical attacks of purple gleaming sharpstone, little pocketknives on the air.

You will ache for more or less or crave indifference.  You read your phone, shielding the sun banking on the screen with your hand.   Everything you know about yourself, your little methods to get near or far, are broken.  Your conversation skills are flat tires, your body language a plane waiting silently on the runway for a storm to pass. 

Yet your busted abilities could help you hear the wind, if only you were to tie them up with wire and hang them from the porch, chiming with metallic glorious mismatched noise.  You ease into a sitting position on the hammock about eight o’clock.  It is cool now under the trees, and it is time to leave.  You swing twice with the heel of your foot, and rise.

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