My daughter calls to say she is having her nails done.
She wants to look pretty when she sunbathes topless
at the beach. I tell her if she’s going topless
it’s not her nails men will be looking at.

I imagine the hard beach; July heat,
run and slosh, run and slosh of surf
making its sound.
I imagine her in the shallows breast-high.
Her red hair, white teeth. Her skin alive and ready.

Tonight, I take off my blouse. Bra. Stand in the long mirror.
Nakedness of breasts.
I’m more comfortable with the truth of things:
inherited sadness of nipples, stretch marks.
Two heavy bells closer now to the earth than sky.

In the morning I’ll call to remind her
to wear sunscreen.
She doesn’t know in her life there are things
that haven’t happened yet.