Secret Sapphic Spread

Photo by Nilanjana Ray

By Nilanjana Ray

Two girls in flowing dresses  

join their hands together in silent prayer,

hoping no one finds out their secret.

Hiding spots or otherwise stay hidden.

They walk through the forest

farthest away from their homes,

humming a familiar song, a little off-key.

Their hearts beat in perfect unison.

They sought that familiar patch of grass 

at the far end of woods ; 

Covered in a blanket of dappled sunlight. 

Even the dandelions here look alive. 

And they lay down a gingham blanket 

on which they empty their baskets

filled with fruits and pastries and libations. 

Could they be offerings to Sappho?

They eat cold cubed watermelon 

paired with generous crumbles of feta ; 

You get the tangy with the sweet.

Kind of like a kiss in-between the thighs.

They serve warm challah baked earlier that morning 

slathered with butter that they both churned,

like their ancestors did a long time ago. 

Falling crumbs carried away by thankful ants.

They slice equal parts of a cherry pie  

which when eaten cultivates a sense of warmth ;

Just like the season the cherries have been picked in. 

Teeth now look blood-stained and hungry.

As the meal nears its end and the sun threatens to set,

two glasses filled with wine are clinked in unison ; 

A piece of bread is then dipped into the wine.

Intinction to make their communion holy with love.


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