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It is 1974 and out the institutional open windows

of the college dorm, nylon bikinis in floral prints

are plummeting like the cheap bodies of birds. And then

your mother’s large white briefs like a mainsail, like

a flag of surrender, begin a slow dancing down current,

cinematic, lithe. All of the faces

are turning up, hushed, like those

holding a hoop to save a child burning. It is the opposite

of being lifted into the sky

the way I imagined my grandfather ascending

after the long pain of illness: this large pair of underpants

falling forever on the startled face

of an undergraduate boy.

-  Terri Ford

For Paula Snow

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