This is So

Jan Frazier

This is So

This is so I won't forget you
squatting in tee-shirt and underpants
in the brook that day last August,
lifting cold stones from the muddy bottom
and arranging them to trap a small pool,
a place to bathe your Barbies.
The undammed water ran between
your white legs, the cotton
crotch of your underpants
a pink bridge above the brook.
I sat in the triangle opening to our tent, knees
to my chin, watching the sun
lower itself down the hill, and you
with washcloth and brook water
scrubbing plastic armpits and hard round bottoms,
setting the washed dolls on the cotton shorts
you'd taken off and folded on the sandy shore.

This is so I won't forget your face,
how, bathing done, you stood,
wiped your hands on your shirt
and crept up to me, your toes gripping
the muddy bank, the sun
finally gone down behind the hill,
the dolls a pink heap in shadow,
your cold hands cupping my jaws,
your lips touching each of my eyelids,
my nose against your damp hair.


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