Party of Two

We put our name on the list. Which name should we use?
We are a party of two,
We used to be more.
Some very big not good things happened, one after the other, and it’s not over yet.
Some of it’s in her remembery, some of it isn’t.
She was there, but she was very small.
But she won’t always be small; and she was wide open, and she was there.
I think when she’s older, that she will find her way back.

In the meantime, let’s go to the bathroom
The toilets flush themselves; the faucets turn themselves on and off
And so does the hand dryer, even if you sneak up on it.

Our table is ready!
Look down at the carpet; it’s still sea green, still seashelled and still seahorsed;
And the while-you-wait chairs are still seagreen foam and beach wood backed;
End tables with cut glass vases and your favorite flowers, people leave their drinks there.
I tell her somebody earned good money designing that furniture.
She tells me, “Mommy, I’m an artist, I don’t do carpets.”

Our table is by the window; the wind, waves and crowd are muted.
The waiter brings us our whatever you want plates and she is ahead of me
Eye level with unlimited whipped cream, pancakes, waffles,
She eats till it hurts.
Then she tells me that she will get married here.
The wedding party will all wear bathing suits under their wedding clothes, and
After dessert, they will all take off their wedding clothes, and run down to the beach to swim.

I stretch out her summers, swimming straight through September.
It seems to be working.

Lauren Shapiro
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