Lisa Nickerson

Tom said "Frank O'Hara will plant a poem in your head"

The gnats plastered to the purple, slanted ceiling
in the upstairs bathroom
remind me
it is summer, Frank O'Hara.

Tom said you'd plant a poem inside my head
Tom said, yes he did.

The toilet paper is run out on the roll hanging
the windows are open to their bones
though you, Frank O'Hara
wrote of Cohasset and Provincetown
and well heeled Boston summering
in plaid pants on the croquet courts
all wrapped in green and blue whale belts

or wait
that might be me
you forgot the lace-top hydrangeas Tom spotted
on the road
to the beach where we had a picnic and the battery in the camera died just
before sundown but the children didn't
die. They ran like sandfleas licking
at cold Cape Cod bay
dart dart go their toes like baby flea tongues.

Tom didn't take any pictures and the chicken was honeyed
I sliced the the jalapeno flecked cheese with a plastic knife
and we brought the peach tartlet and lemon squares home.

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