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James Bertolino
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A Picnic Scene

Lift the wine while history
fogs you in. There's Dolores,
wearing her First Communion whites, undies
in pink--just thirteen months
before the accident. And young Joans—
why does Joans appear? Trying to warn her
with his hands?

Red blossoms, their sensual recesses;
the black dog with spotted tongue; a sequence
of striped worms perforating the landscape.
And hovering above, something feathered
casts an omen over the scene.

Arranged there, on muted cloth,
is the usual yellow china, and ripe fruit
which, catching the low sunlight, serves as center
for a gathering whose friendly postures
prove there are no masks.

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