There are certain flowers and leaves
that turn slippery as soap when bruised—

swished into a plastic flask of water
with a few granules of detergent,

they made the largest, most glorious
bubbles which we blew with makeshift

spools of bent clothes hangers—
The same type of wire that girls

who’d been foolish would use to try
and empty themselves, scour that room

before a cell, another body, could grow
into a larger shape to take up residence

in their own. This is how I took one
of my cousin’s friends to the ER:

doubled over in pain, until the orderlies
drew the privacy curtains then whisked

her off to the operating room. That
was the last time I saw her, until

she popped up recently on Facebook:
with a lover, a grown daughter; smiling,

slipped away from who knows what cowl
might have dropped around her shoulders.

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