My Sister

Two summers ago when I was going nuts
I thought my sister’s ghost lived in our garden.
My shoulders felt warm, and I confided.
Let me say she was real, then, as a tongue
you can bite. Let me say I knew she was
very good at hockey, and fun as a tent.
She painted roughly, but well, liked boys
with beards but not sex with boys with beards.
Her hands were the same size as mine.
Her voice seemed unaffected by gravity
and she would often discover herself
holding a table’s attention. She told me
her ideal man was Picasso, and that her
biggest regret was not putting her name
firmly onto living, slipping beneath it
before she was born. And I regret it
in the garden with the dead fireworks,
my face going wet, everything crashed
on this wall, another summer coming on.

first published in Five Dials, ? Jack Underwood 2015, used by permission of the author

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