Once the phrase has been shouted, it squats
at the base of the stairs—like a cockroach, like a cup
thrown and shattered—its I a doorpost, wobbling
the handrail, the stress a book, open mouthed.
So when my sister stares at the carpet—when she
doesn’t flinch on the basement landing
where we crouch, gouged risers,
a sheen of grit and empty shelves,
after heaving it from the back of my throat,
I ask, Do you feel anything for me?—
clenched over the T pinned between my teeth
like an insect retreating and that e
silent, its work done.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.