for what's falling.


It rains.
The sky is like ground-out cigarettes.
It's heavy and slow, sloppy
like last night's leftovers,
like last week's sullen laundry,
like a quiet whispered lie.
I buried my sister today.
I haven't eaten in two days.
My skin: brown, worn, weathered.
The malamute it sniffing for rats
in the leftovers of the back porch.

The old machine–
stolen from the high school–
with the brand name on the plastic–
sign glowing to advise everyone soda–
is reasonably priced–
lies on its side obscured–
in the turkeyfoot and thistle–

cozying up
to empty forty bottles.
I'm guilty, unashamed. She
focussed on others and I focussed
on my plate
its contents decided before our
births, wichtig in Jupiter's light. No,
in Europa's light.

I'm wearing what she would've
told everyone in her video
before martyrdom
to don. A quiet knit, a
shawl, a cap against rain.
Her stone was born this morning
while I stood over shoulders
of thickwristed women
who spelt, excellently,
her life.
The great trunk's, branches
blooming like its vines, outlasting
over our tattered roof.

These, these, these are October flowers.
These are November seeds.
Like a necklace strung with rusty
potted meat tins swarming
–overloaded and doomed–
with larvae. It's possibilities
she saw in skies like these.
Eyes like these. Thighs like--

Drives by, the dark sedan,
the young man who
chose the beautiful one.
Looks at me his lips her name
silent in the oilblack engine
noise and the overflowing gutters,
and the malamute follows–
like she knows curses to say
on her mother's behalf, in
her way. Plastic bags
dangle hanged upon maples'
empty arms in its wake.

I've got
this bit of silver mirror,
from the ancient clapboard on Jackson Street,
from when we broke in
because of a dare; she
coveted it. I took it for
to give, and now its given
back, like a letter with its address
washed away, by the page scrawled out
for a paralegal in the living room
last March. Equinox. Oh will
she kiss me from the
other side just one more
time? I know the Red Queen's
journey in my barefoot bones.

Creak away, ghost of mine,
in Momma's rocker–
under the kitchen window where
you put it–
with its busted seat you don't need.
Love, it's streetlamp time.
Well say to the malamute,
So I can go before that boy
comes by to take her
tomorrow morning.


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