The Sun Virgins

They walked close together,
down the farthest expanse of shoreline.
A lovely brace of juvenescence,
my sister Bess and her best friend Emma.

I knew where they were headed,
to the flat tops of the white rock cliffs,
that hung in graceful defiance of gravity
a good bit beyond where surf broke beach.

Once there, they would stretch their lengths
on bright towels, gild in the heat
and talk of boys and records, annoying brothers,
who they might be in twenty years.

Both were fifteen, almost; dark of skin
pale of hair. Their bodies eternally slick,
spackled with little gems of salt
that caught the light like tiny beads of glass.

I was eleven, a proclaimed pest.
Always cordially uninvited
to the private club up on the cliffs.
But at the time, being enamored of myths,
legends and ladies fair, I would tag along unseen,

at a spy's distance, dragging my feet in the sand.
And even though I knew that they were only
my sister Bess and Emma, bane of my boyhood,
tormentors of my youth; on some days,

when the Sun Goddess spilled her brilliance
in a certain angle across the cliffs,
their irradiant figures lit with a kind of Holy fire,
and they would become the virgins of the sun,
serving the Inca King.

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