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  • Rebecca Lerner

we can meet at the entrance

Things to do while you wait for someone for a socially distanced picnic besides look at your phone


Touch the grass. Drink your wine. Rearrange the wine, chips, and clementines on your blanket. Smooth out the blanket so that the one corner is not higher than the other corner because the grass has not been cut in - you want to say - four weeks. Pull out some grass. See if you can recite the streets that lead to your street - Rogers, Nostrand, New York, Brooklyn. (It gets more specific the closer it gets to you, and you think that maybe that means something.) Pull out the knife in your bag and touch the blade. Think about how hard it would be to a) get out of the knife in an emergency (thinking bears, not people) and how ineffective it would be in your hands. Resist the urge to google self-defense classes. Breathe in. Look at the people next to your playing 100 gecs with a cat on a leash. Try to make eye contact with the cat. Breathe out. Look away quickly when one of the people catches you looking at the cat. Peel a clementine and pop each section into your mouth, letting the juice erupt every time like a tiny miracle. Wrap the peel up into a neat little package and put back in your bag to dispose of later. Don't open the chips yet. Look up at the sky, the clouds fluffy against the still of blue. Trace the etchings in your palms. Remember running into a bar and seeing your friends across the room and touching strangers as you drift towards them like you have all the time in the world.

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