For Myrtle ...

The color of your skin-
a sort of lemon meringue-
contoured around a full framed face.
I wish I'd known you longer
and felt your luscious smile.
Contagious was the squint of your eyes,
almond in shape,
when your heart pierced through pearly stones
and your cheekbones lifted 
and the curve of your brow met
silky black hair lined with grey edges.
I wish I'd known you longer.
A smooth, creamy complexion, 
free from wrinkles,
suggested an age other than your own;
And you never knew your birth year;
The evil that gave you high yellow 
took your age as well.
I wish I'd known you, 
maybe to stand beside you in the mirror
to see whiteness of my ancestors more clearly-
to understand this high yellow I am in winter-
to recognize the history behind these cheekbones-
to know myself better-
to know you ...
The fullness of your nose
and softness of your dimples
caress my almond eyes,
and what I've wished to know about you
lay within the crevices of a smile 
wrapped in caramel.


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