aunt flo's shower

the summer i stayed with my great aunts
was as hot as a white flowers:
daisy & lily & finished dandelion.
their un-air-conditioned house
widened with humidity
like a great sponge.
i had five hangers in the closet 
& the rest of my clothes 
sat crumpled at the bottom
behind sliding wooden doors. 
i cleared a shelf in the fridge 
for my pudding & jello. stole a spoon
& a bowl. i regret treating my aunts
like ghosts as they moved
in their same patterns day after day.
watching with distant awe.
their wrinkled skin 
like silk curtains. 
radio at 6am. coffee machine babble.
i came home from work
in the middle of a soap opera 
where everyone was white & desperate. 
sometimes, we ate little sundae cups
on the AstroTurf porch. the aunts 
watched the sidewalk as 
children ran on licorice legs.
i noted layers of dust on the windowsills 
& on the bookshelves & even
angel statues. one night
aunt mary's pink shower overflowed 
& i had to use aunt flo's.
i stepped into her little bathroom.
blue title floor & walls.
mirror hung too high. 
only seeing half my face: nose up. 
i imagined how many days she's spent
preening by the glow
of one tired bulb. undressing,
i felt watched. cautious, letting
the water wash off the sun's grit.
that summer was so so short
& so so long. cool blue tiles
under my bare feet. 
my aunt flo & aunt mary
on either side of the sinking sofa
drinking coffee 
& waiting.

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