Someone is sweeping in the courtyard.
Only women’s voices rise here,
through doors ajar to unshared beds
and time alone to grow old in.
Daughters of the goddess, they still dress up
in hats and boas, lips slicked cherry-red,
finger-ends glittering, but on secret afternoons
doze in housecoats and comfortable pantaletas,
no men now, who grow senile in their own families,
to knock and demand. Somehow these crumpled
butterflies have washed up here, on a sweet island
walled against remembering. It’s not heaven,
almost Sanctuary. In their next lives
may they be reborn on the isthmus
as trader women, breasts formidable
as the Sierra Madre, carrying iguanas
on their heads to market.