By a lake shaped like a cartoon parrot 
We practiced the simple art.

You were 17 and I was 19, two years 
between us and then I was twenty.

This is the simple math. 
It was Florida in the Sixties and

your aunt said, don’t grin honey, 
you don’t want to work your skin 
like that.
She told me, one day 
you’ll be dead, but meanwhile put on 
some lipstick, wear a cute skirt.

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Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of two books, and five chapbooks, most recently They Went Down to the Beach to Play, Locofo Chaps, 2017. Her poem, "Advice" was first published in AVENUE.

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