for Rita

he is going back to his atoll
where the women still go topless
and the men wear pwundosi
to spread the word of God

“no more sexting,” I say

“Ai adai, they don’t even have phones over there do they!?” my friend asks

“They do! and internet too!”


“Yea, they just don’t wear panty or deodorant,” I say.

We laugh our annoying island laughs. 

Lucky them.

Copyright © 2022 by Emelihter Kihleng. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 13, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.