I am spending the afternoon
with two girls named Margaret
that’s what I call them
it’s an inside joke I made up years ago
when they were both about five or six  

they’d yell at me:  


Every time I see them, now
they get a new number
they even ask for them:  

what number Margaret am I today?  

Margaret number 37 wants buttered angel hair pasta
says she knows how to make it
while sipping on neon green Gatorade-
something she invented by mixing two other flavors  

she doesn’t  

know how to make it, that is  

I end up at the stove boiling water
while she nibbles on raw strands straight from the box  

Margaret number 92 is still slightly shy
about showing me her dance routines
from her troupe’s competitions

she does, though  


after board games
and dog slobbers
and arguments over who has to clean
the bedroom they’ve disastrously cluttered
before another round on the trampoline  

while 92’s mom and I
try to catch up
fall asleep in the sun
on cushy porch seats.  

Best afternoon in a year
with two girls
who are much more than numbers.