Picnic – by Matt Dennison


Jane floats her tablecloth across the floor,
sets out fruit, bread, wine, says: Here,
look closely. See the red so forcefully
woven into the curtain? Mother’s blood.
Scattered like burst petals across the sofa?
Mother’s blood. Sit. Everywhere: motherblood.
Soon I will have enough. I will swim.
In the cupped handful I lap I will taste her face.
The gun? I have it. Here, feel the trigger.
The curve guides you in, does it not?
The letter. Read. Can you feel her sorrow?
Can you feel it? My breasts: feel them.
They are heavy with sorrow, have sopped
it from the walls, from the air. She inhabits.
Eat your fruit. There is more. There is always more.
She never departs. Cannot be removed. More wine?
Of course. Pay my cats no mind. They are bad.
They have fattened, those hungry-tongued bitches.
They bite, now. Do not approach.
You know how it is with beasts of no respect.
You have respect. You have felt the blood circling.
You know how, of a sudden, it can spill.
Yet you do not wait. Staring. No, not you.




After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made videos with poetry videographers Michael Dickes, Swoon, and Marie Craven.

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