SIBLINGS (FLIGHT FROM REAGAN NATIONAL, WASHINGTON, D. C.)
by Michelle Askin
You would have thought it was my sister who tried to die—
not waking when the blood urine on my legs wet her beauty.
Not waking until the nurse’s off the bed, you can stay
but no sleeping together. Separating us as though
we never floated in the same womb like bright specs
from a lighthouse explosion. Never slept in the same dreams
blurring in a rainy night’s retina— a close flood
like that dawn: the EMS & my brother watching me
try to wake from suicide. Shivers cracking open his body.
Heart thrumming to a symphony. His organs like blossoms
fluttering & electric on traffic signals. I remember this,
that I’ve seen his nakedness before on the day after Christmas—
lingering with the snow & junkies along monuments
as I’m afraid to go back to that house & find some girl
resurrecting his soul through his skin. And I remember this
as I look from a plane leaving this city where we were born,
where he reaches in a guitar case for pills he’s forgotten.
His thin arms like twigs in a golden garden or power lines
joining star constellations. You see my brother is also beautiful
& tonight he shakes with a beauty that rocks the train.
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