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Mort, Wilma, Jana, and Valerie

Picnic on the Bay Bridge

driving across the Bay Bridge at 50 m.p.h.
my hands float from the steering wheel

my body expands suffused with light
and I flow through the windshield

hover before my speeding car
and watch myself driving with a silly grin

my wife is talking to the side of my head
my daughter grinding away in the coloring book

and only the baby sees that I’m gone
as she croons at my figure flying away

around me battalions of golden men
rise from their cars

and swim through the air
and women float out of their make‑up

out of their clothes and shopping lists
children tumble and soar

all of us swoop through pouring down cold
and dance above the cars

some hold their groins others giggle
but only for a moment

and there are my wife and kids
in their golden creases of skin

they wait for me to breast stroke back
and then we wrestle and laugh

“did you bring the pickles and ham” I ask
“yes” says my wife and caresses my neck

“hey do you have any mustard over there”
asks a balding middle‑aged man

we float him the jar and he
and a Mexican family swim over

tortillas and French bread
hams chorizos—and barbecued ribs

supplied by a school bus full of black kids
chanting verses from the Tao Teh Ching

under the guidance of an elderly Chinese
who conducts them in his rags of glowing skin

we eat we chant we dance and sing
while the toll gate shines far ahead

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