it is a beautiful day in Michigan, and she is
rising and setting like a reliable, burning planet.
she doesn’t need me anymore—it’s okay.
I’m accepting this. sometimes, she
stands still and life bustles around
her in a blur. she shaves her head, and
I shave down my bones in her shadow.
being an older sister is hard. I imagine,
being a younger sister is harder. even
the stars dye our arms with blue inks.
between the bridge and Canada, she
comments on the weather. her dogs
run through the snow in flurries
of beige. she is electric. she is a forest.
she is made of moths and gets a tattoo
of the death’s head hawkmoth. just like
silence of the lambs, she says, mom’s
favorite movie. she grins and the small
vein at the center of her forehead pulses.
for a moment—is full of blood and sun.
I do not need to be told that I know nothing
about wine. or men. or Detroit. or electronic
dance music. I know she thinks I only have
the most useless of knowledge: love poems.
rhyme schemes. why she dreams of her teeth
falling out of her mouth. I notice that her shoes
are covered in mud. I have the same pair. shined.
gleaming. when I visit her, I always do her dishes.
clean out her car. I find an old pickle. dog toys.
an uneaten black apple. between us, I see a small
ocean. a yellow raft floats across our arms,
outstretched. she hugs me whenever she sees me.
on the shortest phone calls, she says
I love you. and I say I love you, too. we both
know why. this is our way. our forced, grinning
photograph. our aching pattern of blood.
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