Do you remember the woman
who forgot she was bald?
I think she was the woman who could only eat
peeled grapes because skins were too dry.
Was she your friend or your sister?
I recall you mentioned the woman whose veins
constricted and constricted until
they nearly strangled themselves.
Her skin shed like a snake’s across her carpet,
and no amount of lotion
could stop the molting.
You spoke of the woman who was so tired,
she could not find her shoes or her bed
or the word for tired.
And the woman who walked in to a doctor’s office
and walked out with three tattoos,
one sticker, nothing
for good behavior.
And I don’t want to forget the woman
whose body creaked so loudly, no one could hear her
over the phone when she explained 
that an 18-wheeler had barreled through her chest.
But maybe you do.
Who was she, again?
So close, she is taking your next breath.
Barbara Muller Bowen is a poet living in San Antonio with her husband, cats, dog, and a bottle of Writers' Tears Irish whiskey.

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