Florica, in a University town

Rides passenger, timidly, her bag

in her lap. Inspector’s fingers tip the

wheel of the Merc, they are off to Aldi,

where she is positioned on weekday mornings.

Socks under open-toed wedge sandals in winter,

she shifts crushed velvet skirts and headscarf into

the wind’s place. Bites her cheeks, those smoother

than Inspector’s, they show no lines, none of the pock

marks of power he collects. Vacant, her dolorous eyes’

sheen of tears a conceit for shine, brighter than the

snaggle-toothed skinny aunts, who’s round at the church.

Here is better business; they giver her nappies for her little

brothers, and food. She hides it from Inspector; he watches

sometimes from beyond tinted windows. Crowds of stick

legged indolence, hungover students cover her in swathes.

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