Julie R. Enszer
Shopping In Bangkok

I ask to see the aquamarine—
my grandmother’s birthstone.

No, not earrings; a pendant, perhaps?
There were three. Each large, well-cut.

The Thai saleswoman says,
very beautiful, yes?

She looks at me expectantly.
Suddenly, I am crying:

My eighty-five year old grandmother
labels everything with the name

of the one who will receive it when she dies.
The one person who should get

this pendant if I were to give
it to my grandmother is

the granddaughter who shares her birthstone,
aquamarine, the granddaughter—my sister—

who nearly shared her birthday,
but is now long dead,

so I tell the saleswoman,
No. No. It is not quite right.