a weekly of fantastical poetry





Sister

by Alex Dally Macfarlane


I'll bury your bones when they're watching, sister,
your flesh-wrapped bones,
your body — I can't look at your face
but I'll place your old limestone pounder at your side:
This is a good grave, they'll say,
and believe I am quiet, I am done
with this arguing over bones and burials and foxes.

I am not done.

I can't look at your face as I cover you with earth,
as I re-cover him: that man,
who now shares his grave with you.
I look at him, already rotting, weak.
I enjoy the sight of his fists, broken, unclenching.
But it is because of him that I cannot bury the fox with you —
and then, then I look away, hurting
like the knife went between my ribs instead.

I'll come back, sister.  

He didn't hear the foxes talk,
he didn't tame the foxes with scraps and songs,
he didn't sit awake at night
telling me about their lives.

I'll come back, I'll wait until you're bones,
until I can't see your face and your wounded chest,
sister I'll wait years until they forget
you and the fox and him
and me: I'll slip away, run here, dig
until my hands are full of bones —
there's dirt, so much dirt, and it's soaked full of loneliness!
I'll bring the fox to you, sister.
Here. Sing together.

I'll sing too, sister.
I'll sing 'til I die.



September 24th, 2012



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