Taking a Shower with His Mother ~ Kristina Pfleegor

I’d still never been naked for him
when I showered with his mother
and aunties in the long room
at the farm. They were all brown
breasts and laughter; I ducked
under the water, back turned, rinsing
work-scent of irrigation trench
onto the floor. His family shared
bodies the way they shared everything:
gossip, this old farmhouse, meals of poi
and stir fry, chore of clearing snails
from the taro patch. What’s yours
is not only yours.

But mine belonged only to me:
lanky, shy body. Sharp
lines where tan bordered pale. I was exposed
by light from the window, an open

square cut into concrete. Passion
fruit vines twined koa trees, and
a strange desire grew in me: to be an island,
which wears only jungle and sea,
which gives without knowing it gives.