Lightness Has Never Been Our Concern, But Today We Are the Opposite of Heavy

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 &
unposed acreage?

the afternoon bears witness 
to our ungainly & cracks a smile.
june & our youth are already half gone.
& we have never been more brief 
& beautiful.

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