On days like this—when the sun

is hunting cicadas through the grass—

I remember the path

of milky footprints that led to the bathroom

whose door was never locked. There,

four slick bodies danced—

nieces turned tanned faces

to shower's panting, palms clutched

on mother's hips. In those middle years,

I blushed at the hair

on my sister-in-law's thighs

that bowed like offerings, the ribbon

bones that flexed like corsets

and rippled the Himalayas

across her daughters' sides.

(Later, they will thank these frames

slim these muscles firm these bodies

active, but children of such an age

count no blessings.) I never questioned

how my life reflects itself

in my mother's thankful folds,

only turned from her breasts when I sprang

too quickly through her closed door.

When I am forty-eight, my stomach

will burrow into itself, crow's feet

will crawl from my eyes, and I will stand beside my daughter,

beneath the shower, bare as ice.