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Women in the Sun (for Deena)

She spends her summers in the Galveston sun oblivious of melanoma and the premature leathering of the flesh. The deepening creases

of their brows sparkling with clear fat bullets of sweat, the two elderly women detour around her, smug under the straws

of new panamas. Each secretly envies her fullness and suppleness of muscle, her bronze flesh covered with nothing

but a film of baby oil, crackling like fat in a vat of sizzling lard. With one foot in the grave, they detour around her,

their faces of white raisins wincing as they reminisce the pallid history of their own flesh robbed of the sun

by bonnets and long cotton dresses. They envy the brash recklessness of her youth sprawling her body

in the hot Galveston sun for days and days on end, charging for the ever the stark white batteries of her bones.

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