We were sneezing on haystacks
dry air dusty and spinning with flies
Little Jack was peeling maybugs
like wild kumquats while we lay
intoxicated and warm with our tedium
organic chaise longue under a brushfire sky
stark in a pale field of corn needles.
"We should go," he said
as the dog ran in circles
stirring up his wish mists.
Little Jack sucked his fingers free
of sticky beetle juice.
A while longer resting
fingers now tracing the curves of double-scored
tracks between hunched barns,
counting crows and listening
to cricket whispers in the bone grass.
In the slow creep of delirium
Johnny and Hoagy threatened
to loudly ruin our soft dehydration.
Everything prickled and the dog
draped his tongue, heavy on the side
of his yellow tooth mouth.
Dry summer bad habit
sleeping in the sun
dream shimmer angels
dancing in chalk veils
"We could die if we stay here."
We beat a hasty gingham
blanket, picnic box retreat.
in star syrup darkness
the feverish offering
of our cold water
Copyright © 2002 Lucy A. E. Ward
Lucy A.E. Ward resides in The Netherlands. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in many publications, including Dreams & Nightmares, Flesh & Blood, Black October, Star*Line, and Elysian Fiction. She is a regular book reviewer for SFCrowsnest.com and the itinerant mistress of her own Web site, Little Behemoth's Corner. Her previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive.