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
will water sadness tacitly.
The chairs are facing east
where light arrives and doesn’t stay.

One discusses discipline
for nine year olds
who think a mouth is meant
to tell their father off.
Another, brands of tanning cream
that fake a blush for summer months.
The third is reading Lucy Grealy,
hiding titles under towels
that also drape a half a leg.
She’s the one who wears her grief
like stains across a white lapel.
She’s the one reminding them
that shaving pairs of flawless thighs
is running digits through dazzling silk.

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