ON The Grass In The Park

by Grace Karls

Surprising sunshine warms a bath for me

Through my eyelids, melts arguing shapes

down into a pastel pool, opaque

My glass hand disappears in its thick shade:

Swirls around, mixing colors

Yes, my memory melts in the Cold

sun’s heat, washes away the unessential

Merely “I” remain, together

Thick in a brilliant bath

A segment is a line between two points

I learned that toward the beginning of mine

A tiny woman climbs out of a hole-punch,

Onto a tightrope, a roller coaster track,

Discovers her head is hollow slowly


Tennis ball shell full of fluff:

Sticky, melty, candy cotton black

Scraped away slowly,

Melted like fake spider webs on Halloween.


Miss stick figure (climber) collects

Pretty and odd, dangerous stones

Plop into her head

Clink-clink like a chime beat

Levels surround levels where

She felt, she listened, she drifted,

She dreamt herself

Silly girl, she thought, fondly

Collected senses

Zapped into solid shapes:

Pointy, octa, penta, puzzle, circle, cone

“Now you live together; get along!”

She does not know the rules,

She could not see the end:

Walking to the park with an arguing head,

About to explode, maybe

She opens her chest like a window to the air, to expose

Her heart shivers in the freshness

It cries for having been shut inside,

To somersault over what it has loved

Its smooth song then rises to the sun’s tone;

If a heart can smile, mine did then.

Grit rinses away,

Rivers crawl on the beating surface and cleanse.


I, simmered down by sunshine

Sloshed into a swimming pool

Can a mind sink and soak?

I shall tell you—mine can

Yes, my mind sank and it soaked all afternoon

Atop the muddled grass and

Buried in layers of light’s paint

In the center of this big park there is no danger

I shall roll to one side then the other on this little hill

And remain warm in the static exposure

Blinded by white like a made-up afterlife

Ribcage expands, brimming with breath

Legs tug down against lifted arms

Body stretched like a star

Lying flat on the top of the earth

Drenched here by the sun’s cloak

My memory loses shape,

My segment (with two points) crunches and crumples

And melts, like paper in a pond

And I float on the earth’s peel, atop the

Melted shapes make a sweet syrup

Breeze tickles my face and I listen to

The full trees’ deep yawn of leaves

A baseball’s milky clap in contact

A plane’s groan across a blue dome

The breeze dances freckles on my nose

Chills my fingers, and all alone

Here suddenly I am not alone.

I lie on my self’s surface,

All of me surrounds me,

Sporting a sweet baby-tooth smile;

And I hold me afloat.

Thumbnail image by Sabrina Sanchez and Nathan Alford.