(don’t hold me to it)

a sister lives in the desert

she aloes sunburnt kids

and has a car seat in her car

 

and one in her yard

next to the steps between

two cats who miss her

 

we take a steep walk in the morning

against my mountain lion fears

the sign says worry

 

she says don’t so I don’t

and on the ride home

I eat the open animal crackers

 

mostly the back halves of hippos

that the babysit kids didn’t want

she reads me street signs

 

a brother uncovers his wrists

first one then you feed him

a tangerine slice

 

then you read a book about space

some brothers sleep in the yard

one sleeps in an olive sedan

 

my boyhood tried to resolve

to Nancy Sinatra

I gave myself to baseball

 

I’m turned around

I was Nancy Sinatra

and baseball gave to me

 

I think I hear the heat coming on

a car without a sister

is quiet with no toys or lights

 

I am a line and drive her car slow

I lean into the law

and come out a brother

 

I asked to be a sister’s regular

and can’t make enough room

for my luck

 

a sister is a teacher

but didn’t want to be a nun

a sister got thin in the desert

 

she asked me to be a fisher

and reach into a toilet for the duck

I took a sister out for a cocktail

 

in a sister’s email she said

early Gwen Stefani is our Madonna

Madonna is our Marilyn Monroe

 

Marilyn Monroe is a Kennedy

a brother and I hit on the ‘90s

a sister and I live in the upper room

 

I think that was a whistle

but from the bridge it’s trainless

only track and lights and homes

 

I want a brother’s number I can phone

I want a brother who wakes up

 

from a shake

and the sound of his name

 

two cats claim me in the bathroom

in the afternoon I fix a mom’s shower

with epoxy and rods

 

I want to split a soda

but drink half and no one’s home

 

a sister you could share a lizard with

a brother who won’t leave in the night

 

pick a number and that’s the country

pick another for the country beneath

 

*

 

Davy Knittle’s poems and reviews have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Fence, Jacket2, and The Iowa Review. horse less press published his chapbook, “empathy for cars / force of july,” in 2016. He lives in Philadelphia and curates the City Planning Poetics series at the Kelly Writers House.

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