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The humidity peels like acetylene.

On the slanted light, blue herons tiptoe

on alligators. My mother squeezes

pulp from a bowl of new oranges.

Telling small lies in the fungibles.  

She recalls now the tangled dance of

flyer and singer, struggling for a path

forward. Followed by the dark acts

of contrition behind closed doors.

Walls rising to collect the survivors.

Sanctified by coming-through,

They sit now in a room swallowed

by Florida heat. The dining table still

beckons for seven hands. My mother

passes the bowl around and says,

“The Honeybelles are the best this year,

no doubt about it. Here, take one.”