Two Sisters

We were children gathering the night around our feet,

drawing down the moon in our sun-dipped hands, running

with our hair out in the warm spring rains

that pressed jewelry beads to the earth.

 

We picked the berries from shiny holly trees, their goo cement

for the fairy houses we built

out of abandoned bricks in the woods behind our house.

We lay under the thatched night sky and fell asleep to spiders.

 

In those days, summer flickered on like a light bulb.

And we squeezed lemons into sour juice, selling dad 50-cent cups

while he mowed the lawn.

We caught snakes in the ivy patch that curled in the front yard,

lured bees into our cupped palms with applesauce.

 

We drank root beer by the creek at Norton swim club

back when four dollars was a fortune, splashed

water onto salamanders fumbling over the rocks, sinking

up to our ankles in the silvery soil of the bank.

 

We were a dangerous pair

with the premonition of our mother’s blood:

my sister’s whirlwind tempers,

my half-truth dreams.

building communion with our holy stranger dirt

 

When the sky cracked

and the moon split from thunderstorms like my sister’s rage,

I hunched, shivering under her bedcovers

while the rain pelted the window like cicadas.

 

Some copper evenings, we crouched on the back porch,

grinning and rolling apples like balls of candy

to the deer staring at us with their blackberry eyes,

perched on legs

like stilts, vibrating violin strings, leaping away

through the sun shower like an opera.

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