Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Twenty-eight
Spring 2012
To Chop
Jerry Johnston

There is a rabbit in the garden, tonguing the rim of an old Coke can. I see him from where I am at the sink.
Bindweed blossoms are out, too, detonating imperceptibly, but the rabbit doesn’t seem to mind this one way or the other,
and so I roll the cuffs of my shirt and begin washing my hands. The rabbit is young and smooth as a new belt,
and me I’m obvious and bad with secrets and you you’re jumping for a corner of flagging wallpaper that dried
and lost the dollop of glue we applied to it back in April. All in this place there are the clicks of a trotting dog’s paws,
the jazz of dropped pencils. All in this place there’s a scent we take together in the morning: possibilities of sweat
and downy feathers like herring brine going between you and me, between the dog and the bell pepper that fell,
and in it we are car horns far off in the Tombigbee fog. Now, as I’m chopping triangles from a Claussen pickle,
serving you lunch, the secret of this rings in my mouth because soon you and I will find emeralds
in our sandwiches and the rabbit still won’t mind one way or the other.

About Jerry Johnston

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