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This poem is taken from PN Review 269, Volume 49 Number 3, January - February 2023.

Hold the Phone Susan Barba
He: On the subject of swimming, where do you stand?
She: In the shallow end.

Rosemary and lemon in the morning
Lavender and orange at night

in the lot, hugging
girls goodbye
as they ride the bus into the day.
I used to
long for this.
Work piles up and calls
to voicemail while we huddle
in the bakery basement.
Both our fathers died
when we were girls.
I try not to complain,
she says.

Some men are sentient, some not.
Some resemble nothing more than a bin
of zucchini. Some women, wheelbarrows.

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