Sister Insect

Sister dirty cheap upon a wood
floor; ants heap coffee grounds
to dig a hole down the center:
a fiddle-player without a bow,
a pianist out of keys.  Climb,
“Oh my little sister!”  And sing
a song of reason, beauty, blue.

Weak music drips upon a wood
table; fingers clucking electric
letters to drill a bigger hole:
a spider with only four legs,
a wingless wasp still stings.

Cry, my sister.  Write tears
with an old-fashioned feather.
Dribble, dabble, lay your breast
upon the table; quibble, scribble
with bruised knees hard-pressed
into the floor.  I’ll drink a cup,
then spit and laugh and listen
as you beg for reason, beauty.

Sister drew a forest so thick,
I can find neither footsteps
nor socks.  But no line drawn
will ever mean more than my
drowned, mournful defeat.
Pin pretty blue butterflies;
type neat black-ink labels.
We dream of wings, strings,
quiet seaside coffee shops,
and gulls scream, “Hallelujah!”

I wish we were here together,
you knew a beetle from a drum,
that written words could sing.

Sister slams soft into a wood
door, snaps sweet as cookies
crumble.  All the ants gather:
it’s time to collect your purse,
leave your key on the table.
I march to the crickets’ beat
as the Queen rots on a shelf.
Light a fire, “Oh, my sister!”

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