THE BIRTH OF SISTERS
I promise Adeline that when I die
I’ll come back to haunt her.
She laughs, drags her eyes away
from the grey hills through the window,
says, Memory is for the rememberer.
Today is our birthday.
We cut fanged faces from cardboard,
suspend sinister mobiles above our beds.
We pack a picnic for the backyard
and slip out the side door when
mother goes to work on her sewing.
We find a patch of grass and fill
our diary with detailed
drawings of each other’s faces.
Mixing whispers, we fall asleep
on our hands until they’re numb.
We dream colors that don’t exist.
Mist fills our room like furniture.
Lightning cuts through the shadows.
Different maps cut to pieces, mixed up,
pasted together to make new lands.
Small clocks are harvested for their parts.
When we wake, we are older.
Wrapped in blankets, drinking chocolate milk,
I smile so hard, the liquid runs from my mouth.
—from Rattle #35, Summer 2011