Unity is power, he said.
I loved his face,
but his laugh bothered me.
It impressed me as phoney.
And who was he anyway
to tell me about unity?

I heard my mother in my mind;
her voice sharp with knowingness.
Her eyes like pools of wet, blue experience.
Don’t lower your standards,
she said.
I believed her.
Increase the effort.

About men? I thought?
He laughed again, and I walked away.
But not before taking the brochure he offered.

Photography by Dana Scruggs

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