Three women lounge beside a pool —
comparing scars and silently,
the sizes of a spreading waist.
Laughing at the family branches,
reading stories for reprieve.
Different brands of syllables
to suit the weight of sorrow’s cloth
and longing, well, it hangs
in sacks beneath the eyes
behind their shades —
it hangs in every swaying elm.

Children cackle in the water,
race across the hot cement
to blankets of their mothers’ arms.
Dancing like a moonbeam’s stripe
toward that grand chameleon, death,
unaware that bodies
are tenuous treasures at best.
Denominators of the years

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