I miss a bikini, my oiled and tanned tummy, staking my claim during maximum sun hours, my towel a piece of property, fenced by sand, the contrast underneath my watch band and silver rings, and where my straps pulled down. I had less patience tanning my back, forgetting to turn my face evenly, right, left, right left. But what a yield, pink shifting into brown, a thinning color, the contrast dialed up by white shorts, a bright yellow tank top.

I’m not fat fat, but fatter than my fighting weight, my driver’s license weight. I renewed it soon after I lost my appendix, after I’d lost seventeen pounds and almost my life. Everything fit or bagged. Surviving felt good! If I ate an egg roll or a glazed donut or macaroni and cheese, no harm, no foul.

Next week, I will offer a vein and the blood panel will sell me out, because I’ve been operating undercover, eating and drinking, posing as a thirty-year old, when I need to break the mold, stand in the mirror in my one piece, see a pale sixty, find cool clear water for a night swim in a dark one piece.

“Spotted Glory” – Nina Z. Temple – http://ninatempleart.com/

Ink on 300 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper

“22 x “30