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a week’s tropical depression
by Phyllis Hillinger

what do they make of us
laid out glistening on lounge chairs
slack bodies balancing books
turning to avoid uneven tans
while they lay concrete blocks
up four flights wearing
long sleeves long pants long faces
their skin ebony and taut

what do they make of us
walking the aqua edge of ocean
bending to collect perfect shells
coral fingers: dead communities
while they walk the grey rim
of roofline bending repo rods
to gird luxury apartments against
storms destined to devastate

what do they make of us
eating fish under fancy sauces
on porches privy to night winds
plied with frozen spirits and wine
while they spoon beans from styrofoam boxes
stirred in a pot served from the trunk
of a dusty car driven by a woman dispirited

what do they make of us
standing sweaty in security
opening luggage fetid with damp
reminders of earthy encounters
while they remain rooted
building windows in walls
no means to pass the checkpoint
or perhaps no reason

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