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We Shall All Be Changed

Imagine you
are at the funeral reception for 
your Aunt Addie Belle, rain
sliding down the
three-pane tinted glass of
the generic 
chapel you're all 
seated in
waiting for the hired preacher 
to arrive from Salisbury,
and you
find yourself riding shotgun in the
"family" pew,
sitting thigh to thigh 
with your first
cousin, first love, Addie Belle's
daughter, Ivy Lee,
who doesn't seem to recognize you 
at all,
which is just as well,
you think, seeing that she's 
gained over fifty pounds since
you saw her last at, 
when was that? 
the funeral of another aunt, Aunt
Eunice, who had been 
the youngest, but the first 
to go, and you
would have given anything then,
(in spite of her tearful biker "friend")
to be with Ivy Lee
the way you are just now, feeling
the heat
through her skirt, glancing at her
perfectly rendered artificial
nails, each a different color, each
bearing a tiny drawing
of a matchstick couple in various sexual 
and you cannot but wonder
what happened
to the pale little girl you used to spend
the summers with
at your Papaw Preston's farm
at Barber Junction
when you and Ivy Lee would play 
down at the creek, and she 
would lie back, arching
her shoulders into the damp clay 
while you knelt over, 
pressing your ear to her chest, 
hearing her quick breath 
and the tiny 
gurgles and breezes inside, 
her nipple hard
as a thimble as it grazed your lips
through the tee shirt she wore,
tumbling back now through the years
like scalloped photos
from a Brownie camera,
when suddenly she turns, laying her chin 
on your shoulder, a faint scent 
of spearmint
on her breath, and inquires, 
in a sultry come-on whisper, if you recall
the time back when 
you were kids, playing doctor, 
and she cut a fart 
that would have sent out a blue flame 
if anybody had lit a match
to it

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