Sliver of self portrait in Summer

I’m sweaty after a glass of wine drunk to wake the muse. My great tumble of hair sticks to my neck and falls onto my shirt. Outside my writer’s room, jacaranda trees are shattering to make carpets of tiny, purple bells.

My skin is pale – even ivory in most spots – except for one half arm caramelled by the driver’s sun.

Lashes over green eyes are painted blue-black by the hands of a professional every sixth Saturday. Lips are plump by themselves. My wide girlhood smile is gone. Did the braces do that or was it the sadness alone?

A slippery palm and a finger calloused against the pen. I know my hands are not those of an artist or musician, but diminutive versions of my father’s worker hands.

I’m generous bodied. I admire those women who can call their ample bodies Rubenesque, Venutian, Junoesque and say it with pride. There are milky, soft shoulders in the bathroom mirror.

Legs? No sapling legs these. I fell on bricks chasing chickens in the wanting of an egg many, many years ago. My right knee carries the scar. The same leg is misshapen by a fall in a cafe the day my tiny, perfect nephew was born.

My physical feet are like those of a grandma’s. They are sweaty, but their heels are dry. My mind’s feet are soft and delicate boned and dazzle on magic carpets in Indian slippers with sequins of greens and purples, oranges and reds.

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