Our picnic blanket’s grained with flattened stalks
of aftermath. Brown flakes

adhere to ripped membranes of peeled
eggshells in the near grass. Quilled

slopes bulge in the inlet’s seascape. Wisps
of cloud like tilicums hold fast the distant,

enlisted mountains. Don’t lift your head just yet:
the wine bottle’s empty, hums softly

when air strokes its mouth. Under
the crayfish sky sailboats saunter

wing-on-wing, goose-fashion. Stay like this
for a little longer, while kinglets

tumble like seeds through the cedar trees, making
the sound of rain. We will leave our lunch-remnants

to the patient raven soon. For a little while
longer, let me feel your skin resting warm against my skin.

Daniel Cowper is a poet from Bowen Island, BC. His poems have appeared in various literary reviews in Canada, the US, and Ireland, including Arc, Vallum, and Southword. He serves as poetry editor of Pulp Literature. He is the author of a poetry chapbook, The God of Doorswith Frog Hollow Press, and a collection of poetry, Grotesque Tenderness, forthcoming from McGill-Queen’s University Press in Spring 2019.