By a lake shaped like a cartoon parrot 
We practiced the simple art.

You were 17 and I was 19, two years 
between us and then I was twenty.

This is the simple math. 
It was Florida in the Sixties and

your aunt said, don’t grin honey, 
you don’t want to work your skin 
like that.
She told me, one day 
you’ll be dead, but meanwhile put on 
some lipstick, wear a cute skirt.

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books, including, The Mercy of Traffic, winner of the Phillip H. McMath 2020 Post-Publication Award and five chapbooks. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, pacificREVIEW and this spring Doubleback Books reprinted her 2008 book, Discount Fireworks as a free download.