Featured Poem: Siberian Sunbathers, by Carol Gloor

Siberian Sunbathers

Carol Gloor

In the National Geographic picture

the fat bikini women

stand smiling on the small

beach of the Ob River,

which is not in the picture and

which they can’t swim in anyway,

because, the caption says, this is the most

polluted river in Asia.

Besieged by potato soup,

coal refineries, snow,

they blink into startling sunlight,

display their proud pale flesh

to the opening air

while the background buzzes

with sudden greenery, tundra flies.

Anorexia is not prevalent here.

Their hair is crinkly,

strong, not too clean.

They smile, smile

to the camera,

knowing these long days,

like all respites,

are brief.

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