Woman in Coral Dress

I have never been
one to get
weak knees. No. Instead,
my throat goes slack,
my voice softens.
I  become
quiet, gentle-sounding.

Her dress had a cutout
under her youthful breasts.
I could see her
nude bra (underwire, padded,
probably strapless) through the cutout–
coral against beach-bronzed
skin. Her boyfriend
ran the rounded corner of his credit card
against the exposed skin above
the sweetheart
neckline of the
coral dress.

Softly, I asked her
where she got it.
(You are beyond beauty.)
(That’s what I wanted
to say, but I couldn’t–not just
because I was at
work.) She smiled, and I felt
gutted as
her boyfriend
engulfed her flaring waist
with his serpentine arm.

I say
a prayer of gratitude and
try not to cry.


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