by Lauren Licona
we’ve spent all morning
staring at the water stain on
your ceiling, until it grows into a
homeland we have no name for but “here”.
i mean today, i live without
knowledge of my borders. i learn to unline myself.
we are no longer someone’s stateless daughters.
i have forty-nine cents to my name &
i cannot be whittled down any further.
in the sun, we unravel ourselves
full-bodied. peel off our clothes like
citrus rinds. i toss shame onto
the pool deck with my underwear.
there is a giggle bursting from my lips &
it is un-modest, saltating over the fence
that separates us from neighbors & other gazes.
“shhh…” you say, but summer has made us
restless & our laughter is already
ninety degrees & rising.
we are proud graceless in this southern heat,
wearing nothing but our humid airs.
i arch my breasts in the water. i wring myself of decorum.
we are brown, woman, & unsorry. we are
whole in all our too much. let the mosquitoes
bite on this amongst themselves.
this is a tender that does
not sting or swell into abashment.
intimacy means: have you ever been
naked like this? have you
ever seen a bareness so ample?
have you loved & been loved
with all your scabby knees &
the afternoon bears witness
to our ungainly & cracks a smile.
june & our youth are already half gone.
& we have never been more brief