A belated birthday poem for my sister

That night will come. Somewhere someone will be

entering you, his body riding

under your little body, dividing

your blood from your skin, your dark, liquid

eyes open or closed, the slipping

silken hair of your head fine

as water poured at night, the delicate

threads between your legs curled

like stitches broken. The center of your body

will tear open, as a woman will rip the

seam of her skirt so she can run. It will happen,

and when it happens I will be right here

in bed with my pen, as when you learned to read

you would go off and read in your room

as I read in mine, versions of the story

that changes in the telling, the story of the river.


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