The most beautiful girl
in town—is not. She moved
to Tanzania. Waking in a house
at the foot of Mt. Kilamanjaro
after hearing all the scratch and squawk
prehistoric birds nesting
on her roof could muster.
It’s hard to imagine this scene
without her singing and floating
off into the clouds, wireless.
“It’s not like it was in Niger,”
she writes to me, not mentioning
knives that carved the hard-won
stipend from her purse.
Strange to see her as the house-
mother for twelve college girls.
It’s Ramadan now and they all take
turns fasting with the one girl
who’s Muslim. But I pray
she doesn’t starve too long.
Back home a town still teeters
at the swing of her hips.
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