ZW15 Third Place

BONE SISTER
J. Anne deStaic

Always raining hard and horizontal
like automatic bullet fire
pushing the wind
back

piece by piece to Wellington harbour
firing it white with
wave spray and
streetlight.

You sit on the edge of your seat, lean
forward, jacket unzipped for the heat
in the airport. The windows
steam.

You don’t see me. You look around but your
eyes are down, not likely to see
me at the top of
the ramp.

A man in a hurry pushes me off balance. Now
I don’t know how to do this, how
to hold your
bones

that are the most of you, too thin for being
so tall, always the impression
you could topple
over.

You step back when we hug, our heads to the same side
banging skulls, these things
were never easy for
us.

It is only a rehearsal after all, our mother not
dying, not like last night’s
phone call when you
cried

and I said I was coming over. The tears, the flight
not necessary now. You’ve booked us
dinner out anyway, something
to do.

Even so, on the way home driving around
the bays because there are road works
in the tunnel, sea spray over the
road

and in this wind even the street lights looking
fragile, you are crying, tears
bouncing off your
bones.

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