The day is broadcast in bars
through the branches of a close tree.
On his mat, the dog sits
in a crosshatch of sun arrows.
When I arrive, the dog rolls over—
I lie down, I roll over.
My dress dirties in the shape
Of his bathmat’s embossed fish.
The park is small.
We smell skewered meat and pennywater.
We smell cut grass when the wind slows.
We lie still to hear traffic lights click as they change.
I stay until the grass has grown some.
I want my hair to grow long like the dog’s.
I ask the dog to tell me about self-sufficiency
but he has fallen asleep.
Birds land, as if they were messengers
near our feet: a blue-headed fleet
more regal and yellow-necked than the noon.
I am not waiting, I am not hungry, I am not cold.
Rebecca Dinerstein was born and raised in New York City. She received her BA from Yale and her MFA in Fiction from NYU. Her debut book of poems, Lofoten, was published in English and Norwegian by Aschehoug. She is at work on her first novel.