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SHASHLIK

Susan Smith Nash

 

 

We carried the meat on wet, salty slabs of wood,

The blood sinking into the grain,

The fires settling into the coals.

 

Lightning flickered in and out of clouds,

Colors animated by shadow

The night falls apart with a kiss,

expected but never given like dreams

made flammable by an image

a photograph curling around the edges, or

a sketch, the ink not yet dry

 

Perhaps the distant storms

will disintegrate before arriving

Perhaps they will

slip over the edge of the sky, or

fall into a soft pile, like clothes

fresh from the laundry

 

Undeserved calm, an afternoon of dark skies

and roses, the scent of shashlik awaft on balsam

meat browning slowly over embers

spattering against the distant rain,

and a conversation, punctuated by a train.