Exposure

–Why the long pants UPS man?

Cubes of ice melting beneath ironic laughs, sun savored limbs, bare, freckled, veined, relishing animation still

A bird interrupted to peck at a crumb, another called it away from peril, a third seduced it from the sand pine nearby, in promise of shade and resinous calm

–But you would not believe what they cost–

–Oh but I would and you know why, because just the other day

–But four hundred…? Four hundred?

–My hips have barely recovered…

–From the twins? Or from…

–No, this morning’s yin–the pose must have been twenty minutes, I can’t wait till Susie gets back from her leave

–I think we should do white next, right, white? Or would…

–Another vodka soda for me if you

–Of course and we need, just once we finish pouring here, whoops a bit heavy there

–Yes, we should get back on track, we should

–We should move on to the next, to the funds

–How much do we want to give? I think two or three hundred each–

–At least. Nobody should feel like they need to give more, but I honestly don’t know why

Gravel clattered, one looked up, saw without noticing what she saw, and another, then another, while one caught, not meaning, the sight of a rabbit grazing

–Mom

The rabbit fleeing, panicked, the ice subtly clinking in confusion and correlating to blinks, fluttering finger tips, grasping at the thread this was

–She…

–Is she…

–Not mine or is it

Fingers clutched by rings, dulled gold in salt air, spun

–Is my mother…

Blinking, pale, twenty years, nearly thirty, younger, arms favored by sunlight, sunlight distressing pale eyes

–Are you looking for…!

Sipping and hesitant to laugh or console, and at her distance from them, and she, stepping forward, steps uncertain, sandals, silver strapped, wide buckled

–I’m sorry…I don’t think.

Heads craned, a gaggle

–My mom said she would be at…I think it was here.

High hedges, costly lots of land

–Your mother, are you–

She blushing, youthening, an equine jaw pulling at the bridle of where she stood

–I’m sorry–if you know her, Janet MacHeath–

One whispered to her neighbor, and then a clutch, a glaring of pitying strides, arms somnambulant as if to caress but stopping short

One swerved off, abruptly, rattled, and letting a half-full glass spill out in a tumble on the lawn

–Just to the bathroom

The voice reached, barely, the table, irresolution of faces complicit in the moment, again meeting the visitor

–She left already

–Yes, she..

–Left? Oh, ok but she didn’t tell me…

Toes pink, red, green, the bouquet of toes, excused eyes from looking up

–Come here, it was all such a misunderstanding

–(“Shimmering…”)

–I don’t think we could have seen

Behind, straggling, out into glare, from the swell of words crashed under-breath

–We should have–it was a terrible thing to tell her it shimmered like that, and we let her go, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,

Mouth-breathing, neck flushing asymmetrically, some metal, an initial, a locket, a step back, checking presumed intimacy

–She…she..left? Why didn’t she call? I took a cab?

–We–there was such a misunderstanding, and it was only a print, not the real thing, that was too big too carry

–(It did shine a bit)

–(The sequins they…)

–You must know how hard it is, to offer money and then to explain it’s not right

–Did she leave upset? Was she…was

–We all are sometimes, we all are, and I’m sure she just needed time and

–I’m not sure we were clear–it’s our project, our decision but the lobby belongs to Glowery–the

–Glowery Private Banking Services. Maybe you have heard something, we all feel, god knows, that its become our lives, but not

–We are just raising money to refurbish the lobby and she is a local

–A local artist, you know. I mean, we loved her work when we saw it. The seashell scenes, the night sky with shells, the

–It was all so darling, we just hadn’t–we should have been clearer maybe.

Her tentative sweat exacerbated a faint scent, lotion or perfume, the gravel stirred into circles, oblongs, vectors beneath her feet

–Well, well here is what….we will call you a tuber, an uber I mean

–Can someone call my app is, my phone is dead

–You should call your mother, call and tell her we didn’t mean shimmer like…

–Call and tell her just that we want to see her and

–We will call again too just not, not yet

Cascades of moneyed explanation descended, piquant asphalt breezed off the road, the sun feasted, glutton, on puddling cubes, and a bird encroached, withdrew, another

–Would you like a drink while you wait

–No no thank you but I saw and

–What did you see? Is there a bug? A bug in the wine?

–I saw and I, I thought it moved, and the light on it, beautifully…like the ocean, and…it I don’t…

Jaw down, heavy teeth, chin tilted forward

–I don’t see what she

–The ocean? I didn’t know you could see it that well from here?

–Oh–

–It was not bad, and we didn’t mean

–There are just ramifications and implications to consider, that we had to consider, for what we, what they…

–I, uh.

The idle engine shadowed her in its hum, inaudible gestures of goodbye, the rabbit darting suddenly, a bird hazarding itself in the light

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