Picnic Snaps

had his drum machine, his P.A. and his amp
all running off a DieHard. Christ,
it was hot.

sat on the grass, sat in the sun. She was wearing
red. Her hair was gathered back. Her head
was raised.
Her eyes were shut
behind her shades.

was taking pictures. Buddy said
I had to get a shot of him
with his guitar, had to get a shot of him and Karen,
standing side by side, smiling and
sweating, in that sun and I said
sure, but

stand the other way; stand with the sun at your back.
Take off your glasses. Closer. Closer. Later,

Buddy asked if I had maybe seen her
anywhere around
and I said no. Buddy played until the wind got up
and it was time to eat.

Next time I saw Buddy, he
asked me for the pictures, asked me not to show them
around. It was really hot, he said; Karen
had a bit too much sun; Karen really can't take
very much sun. That's

why she left, to find a cooler place. Trouble was,
trouble was, when Karen lay down
for just a moment
in the shade,
she started to dream
and no-one could wake her. It happens, sometimes,
and no-one can wake her. Trouble is, when Karen dreams,

she dreams a man is standing over her, so
Karen screams and hits at everything.
And no-one can wake her.

Buddy told me Karen's boyfriend
punched her
in the gut
when Karen came home from her hysterectomy
and wouldn't have sex. Now, Karen

has dreams, takes medicine,
sits in the sun, puts on something red,
from time to time, worries
what people will think when they look at her

JDP 2000/03

Copyright John D Porter © 2000

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